14 safest countries for women in Europe

According to a ranking made by the US News & World Report, the safest countries for women in Europe are also among the safest countries in the world, with Denmark taking first place overall in 2020. Find out which are the other countries and why they won those positions in the article.

All about the safest countries for women in Europe

The US News & World Report ranking is based on responses from nearly 9,800 women, who completed surveys for the Best Countries 2020 rankings. The ranking focusing on women is derived from a compilation of five country attributes, which are equally weighted :

  • Watch out for human rights;
  • Gender equality;
  • Income equality;
  • Progress;
  • Safety.

It is already common for northern European countries to be among the best to live in the world, being praised on several factors, ranging from public services to social inclusion. The study shows that the same countries score very well in caring for the elderly and women. It is therefore no surprise that Scandinavians dominated the 2020 list of the safest countries for women in Europe.

Denmark had already taken first place in 2018 and 2019, and the ranking podium stayed with Sweden. But the top four places in the standings are still from European countries, with Sweden, the Netherlands and Norway coming soon after from Denmark.
Check out in this article, which are the 14 safest countries for women in Europe and see what are the factors that rank them well in the ranking.

14 safest countries for women in Europe

Women who travel alone experience a mixture of freedom and independence with the fear of harassment, disrespect and even death. The good news is that the safest countries for women are concentrated mainly on the European continent and are on the itinerary of thousands of backpackers and tourists around the world.

Check out the ranking and find out which are the safest countries for women in Europe below.

1. Denmark

Originating from the ancient Vikings, Denmark is located in northern Europe and is the smallest of Scandinavian countries. With a territory bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and bordering Germany to the south, the country has one of the highest Human Development Indexes (HDI) and a very efficient social security system.

Denmark is one of the safest countries for women in Europe

Denmark returned to the first place of the safest countries for women in Europe and the world in 2020, a title it last held in 2018. Its score in gender equality was 9.6, security 9.8, income equality 9.2, progress 7.9 and human rights 9.8.

2. Sweden

Located on the Scandinavian peninsula in northern Europe, Sweden is bathed by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the northeast. The country has 450 thousand km² of area, being the third in territory in the European Union. However, its population is only 10.2 million inhabitants, with low geographical density.

Sweden stands out when it comes to economics and is also one of the countries with one of the lowest gender inequalities in the world. Among the safest countries for women in Europe and the world, Sweden was at the top in 2019, but dropped to second place in 2020. However, gender equality and human rights rose to 10. Security is 9, 4.

3. Netherlands

The Netherlands , also called Holland , is located on the periphery of Western Europe and has a coastal plain with windmills characteristic of its development around the water. In the country, they run through three large European rivers, the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt, which also pass through neighboring Germany and Belgium and reach the busy Dutch ports.

With one of the strongest economies in Europe and a considerable GDP, the Netherlands is known as an excellent country to live in. In the ranking of safest countries for women in Europe and in the world in 2020, the Netherlands took third place, rising two positions in relation to 2019. Human rights were 10, while income equality jumped to 8.1 in 2020 , of 6.9 in 2019.

4. Norway

The Kingdom of Norway is the westernmost country on the Scandinavian peninsula, formed especially by mountainous terrain. Most of the Norwegian population lives in the south of the country, around its capital Oslo, which is a city full of green areas and museums. The coast of Norway has thousands of kilometers of fjords and bays, where a maritime culture developed in the country, a legacy of the entire Viking era .

Very strong economically, the country has a low crime rate and was considered the seventh safest in the world in a world ranking released by the British newspaper The Telegraph . Norway took fourth place in the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe and the world in 2020. The country had a perfect 10 for income equality. Security was also almost perfect, with a score of 9.8, and gender equality was 8.8.

5. Finland

Finland is a country in northern Europe, which borders with Sweden, Norway and Russia. Its capital is Helsinki, which occupies a peninsula and islands bordering the Baltic Sea. The country is modern and offers an excellent quality of life with well-planned and comfortable towns and cities, as well as vast areas of untouched nature.

Finland, which currently has a government led by women, ranks fifth among the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020 and sixth among the safest countries in the world. Income equality was relatively high at 8.1, although it declined from 9.6 in 2019.

6. Switzerland

Located in Central Europe, Switzerland is a mountainous country with many lakes, villages and high peaks in the Alps. Known for its ski resorts and trails, Switzerland is a small country. It is one of the richest countries in the world and known for its neutrality. The banking and financial sectors are essential to its economy and its chocolates and watches are famous throughout the world.

Lake Riffelsee in Switzerland

In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020, Switzerland is in sixth place and in the world ranking it is in seventh. The country maintained its position in 2019. Its security was considered perfect with a score of 10, and human rights were also high, with 9.3.

7. Austria

Located in Central Europe, Austria is a country that has German as its language, full of mountain villages, with Baroque architecture, imperial history and a very rugged relief. Its capital is Vienna, which is crossed by the River Danube and is home to the Schönbrunn and Hofburg palaces. Austria has a very culturally rich, high-income parliamentary democracy, as well as being home to several important international organizations.

In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020, Austria is in seventh place and in the world ranking it is in tenth. Austria was not classified in 2019, but this year it had an especially high score in security, with 9.3, and human rights, with 8.5.

8. Germany

Germany is the most populous country in the European Union and has one of the strongest economies in the world. Since reunification, its role in the international community has grown steadily. Germany is in Central Europe and borders nine nations. Its landscape is diverse and ranges from plains in the north, reaching the northern and Baltic seas, to the Bavarian Alps in the south.

In relation to 2019, the country fell a position among the safest for women in Europe, going from 9.8 in 2019 to 8.9 in 2020. However, it still remains in eighth place in Europe and 11th in the world.

9. Luxembourg

Luxembourg is surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany and is considered one of the smallest countries in the world. In addition, it is the second richest country, coming soon after Qatar. It is a rural nation for the most part, with dense forests and rocky gorges. Its castles and churches dot its hills and forests. Luxembourg is a land of dukes and duchesses, which seems to have come out of a fairy tale. Member of the European Union, it is a very important financial center today.

In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020, the country is in 9th place and 12th in the world ranking. Despite having dropped one position this year, Luxembourg’s security rating has improved to 9.1, from 8.8 in 2019. Income equality has also risen from 4.8 in 2019 to 5.5.

10. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a developed country that has considerable influence on the international economy, politics, science and culture. It is in the extreme northwest of Europe and includes the island of Great Britain, which contains England , Scotland and Wales, in addition to the north of the island of Ireland. In 2017, there were turbulences on the global stage due to the public vote to leave the country from the European Union . The vote raised questions about the European Union and policies to support the euro area.

Its overall position in the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe remained, ranking tenth in Europe and 13th in the world. The UK’s gender equality score dropped to 8.5 from 8.8 the previous year.

11. France

France is in Western Europe and is the third largest country in Europe and one of the oldest in the world. Bathed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, it borders Germany, Andorra, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Principality of Monaco and Switzerland. The country has exercised and continues to exercise great influence in the world in the most diverse areas such as politics, science, economics and, above all, in culture.

France was one of the first places to defend the rights of individuals and is known for the motto of the French revolution that has become the country’s heritage: Freedom, Equality and Fraternity (in French Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité ). In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe, it remained in the 11th European place and 14th in the world. The country scored particularly well on gender equality and human rights, with 8.2 for each.

12. Italy

Located in south-central Europe, the territory of Italy has a boot shape, which extends to the Mediterranean Sea. With beautiful historic cities and breathtaking landscapes, the country is known worldwide for its cuisine and cultural wealth, which attract more than 40 million tourists every year. In Italy is Mount Etna, the highest and most active volcano in Europe, as well as two countries within its borders, the Vatican and San Marino.

Tourist woman in Europe

With a high quality of life index, the country is considered one of the best in the world to live. In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020, Italy is in 12th place and in the world ranking, with 16th. The country scored 6.8 in security and 5.5 in gender equality. Income equality was 1.2.

13. Spain

Several independent kingdoms came together in 1492 to form what we know today as the Kingdom of Spain . The country is a true cultural patchwork, which continues to shape its identity today. Located on the Iberian Peninsula, it borders Portugal to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the east and the south and France and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. The Spanish territory is partly in the northern hemisphere and partly in the western hemisphere.

Spain is among the main economies in Europe and has a GDP that exceeds 1.4 trillion dollars. In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020, the country is in 13th place. Its world ranking is 17th, rising two positions compared to 2019. While the income equality score was 1.0, gender equality was 5.5.

14. Portugal

Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal borders on Spain. Access to the Atlantic Ocean influenced several aspects of Portuguese culture, from cuisine to the powerful built maritime empire. Portugal is a small country, but with much more to offer than its size may appear. In addition to attracting thousands of tourists every year, the country has also attracted many immigrants, who move in search of a better quality of life.

In the ranking of the safest countries for women in Europe in 2020, Portugal is in 14th place. In the world ranking, it is in 19th position. In a better position compared to 2019, Portugal scored only 0.9 for income equality, but 6.5 for security.