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Toronto ranked among safest cities in the world by Economist Intelligence Unit

Toronto was named by the Economist Intelligence Unit among the safest cities in the world in 2019. Bloomberg/Getty Images

Toronto was ranked sixth in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Safe Cities Index while Tokyo took the top spot for the third year in a row.

According to the Safe Cities Index, Toronto came in sixth while Washington, D.C., in the U.S. was ranked seventh among the safest cities in the world, making them the only two North American cities to make the top 10 list.

The index ranks 60 cities across five continents. It measures the safety of each city based on four pillars: digital, infrastructure, health and personal security.

Tokyo edged out Singapore, which came in second, and Osaka, which took third.

The study said that, overall, North American cities tended to rank higher in digital security. The continent had seven out of the top 10 cities in that category.

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“U.S. cities continue to perform well in digital security as the government strengthens its cybersecurity regulations, while Canadian cities tend to fare better than their U.S. counterparts in personal security,” said Vaibhav Sahgal, a consultant with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

However, Toronto does not rank in the top five in any of the four pillars.

The report noted that while Asia-Pacific cities take six of the top 10 spots, geography “does not have a statistical link with results.”

“Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka lead because of their specific strengths, not because they happen to be in Asia,” the report said.

The study also pointed out that only 10 points separate the scores of the top 24 cities, while the next 36 cities are more than 40 points apart.

“This does not mean that the differences in the leaders’ group are unimportant. Instead, on a scale that can measure every index city, the large group of top cities are much more similar to each other than to those lagging behind,” the report said.

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The top 10 cities are as follows:

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  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Singapore
  • Osaka, Japan
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Washington, D.C., U.S.
  • Copenhagen, Denmark and Seoul, South Korea (tied for eighth place)
  • Melbourne, Australia

“Overall, while wealth is among the most important determinants of safety, the levels of transparency — and governance — correlate as closely as income with index scores,” said Naka Kondo, senior editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

“The research also highlights how different types of safety are thoroughly intertwined — that it is rare to find a city with very good results in one safety pillar and lagging in others.”

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