Chart of the week: Feelings of safety

Do you feel safe walking alone? We take a look at perceptions of personal safety around the world.

On a global scale, there has been an overall increase in feelings of safety. This chart shows the average percentage of respondents who say they feel safe walking alone at night rose from 59 per cent in 2008 to 62 per cent in 2018.

Despite the global positive trend, South Asia, South America and sub-Saharan Africa deteriorated in feelings of safety by 4.3, four and one per cent respectively. Mauritania, Mali and Afghanistan were the countries that had the largest deteriorations, falling by 26, 21 and 20 per cent, respectively.

For six of the nine regions more than 70 per cent of respondents said they feel safe walking alone: North America, Europe, Russia and Eurasia, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa. All of these regions recorded increases on this question since 2008, with Russia and Eurasia increasing by 16 percentage points in the last decade. Russia increased the most within the region, with respondents claiming to feel safe rising from 30 to 57 per cent.

South America is the region with the lowest feeling of safety, with just 43 per cent of respondents on average saying they feel safe walking alone in South American countries. Safety walking alone is lowest in Brazil and Venezuela, at 34 and 26 per cent respectively.