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The Most Dangerous Cities in Europe

The capital of Italy, Rome, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is topping the list of the most dangerous cities in Europe according to the results of 2023.

According to the EU Quality of Life in European Cities report for 2023, only 38% of respondents agreed that it is safe to be on the streets of Rome at night. The second position in the anti-ranking is occupied by the Greek capital, Athens (40%), and the third is the French port city of Marseille (43%).

However, the safest cities in Europe are recognized as the Danish capital, Copenhagen, the Spanish city of Oviedo, and the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana – all receiving 87% approval. The report indicates that in smaller cities, more people feel safe – on average, seven out of ten residents. In cities with a population of less than 250 thousand, 75% of residents feel safe compared to 67% in cities with a population of 1 to 5 million.

Women feel less safe in the city than men (67% vs. 72%), and residents aged 55 and older, as well as the unemployed, are less likely to feel safe. Education has a positive impact on the perception of safety: 71% of residents with higher education stated that they feel safe in the city at night, compared to only 67% of those with basic education. It is noticeable that cities in Southern EU member states lag behind: 63% of residents feel safe, which is 19 percentage points lower than in cities in Northern countries.

However, two out of ten cities with the highest safety indicators are located in Southern countries (Oviedo in Spain and Braga in Portugal). In cities in Western and Eastern countries, the percentage of residents who feel safe is 69%, in cities in the United Kingdom and the European Free Trade Association – 73%, and in Northern cities – 82%. Cities in the Western Balkans (68%) and Turkey (67%) demonstrate figures comparable to those in Eastern EU member states.

However, many cities deviate from these regional trends. For example, in Oviedo (Spain), Braga (Portugal), and Malaga (Spain), the indicators are significantly higher than the average for cities in Southern countries. On the other hand, Marseille (France) and Liege (Belgium) have significantly lower scores than the average indicators of cities in Western EU member states.

In some countries, the sense of safety significantly varies in different cities. In France, for instance, the percentage of residents who feel safe at night ranges from 43% in Marseille to 82% in Bordeaux. Similar differences are observed in Belgium (Liege 44%, Antwerp 73%), Bulgaria (Sofia 48%, Burgas 66%), Czech Republic (Ostrava 45%, Prague 62%), Greece (Athens 40%, Heraklion 68%), Italy (Rome 37%, Verona 64%), Romania (Bucharest 58%, Cluj-Napoca 80%), and Turkey (Istanbul 44%, Antalya 80%). At the same time, differences between cities in Denmark, Austria, Slovakia, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland are small.

Top 9 Most Dangerous Cities in Europe 2023:

  1. Rome, Italy (38%)
  2. Athens, Greece (40%)
  3. Marseille, France (43%)
  4. 4-6. Naples, Italy (44%)
  5. 4-6. Liege, Belgium (44%)
  6. 4-6. Istanbul, Turkey (44%)
  7. Ostrava, Czech Republic (45%)
  8. Miskolc, Hungary (48%)
  9. Sofia, Bulgaria (48%)

Top 9 Safest Cities in Europe 2023:

1-3. Copenhagen, Denmark (87%)

1-3. Oviedo, Spain (87%)

1-3. Ljubljana, Slovenia (87%)

4-6. Bialystok, Poland (86%)

4-6. Groningen, Netherlands (86%)

4-6. Zurich, Switzerland (86%)

7. Aalborg, Denmark (85%)

8. Braga, Portugal (84%).

9. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (83%).

As mentioned before, the same report previously identified the top 10 European cities for the best quality of life in 2024, with cities from Switzerland and Germany making it to the top ten.

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