Is Portugal safe? Portugal is the 3rd safest country in the world. The ranking is published every year by the Institute for Economics and Peace. In 2020, Portugal has once again been part of the top 3. Once Iceland and New Zealand perform better on the list of the safest countries in the world.
From a local’s perspective, we feel very safe. I live in Lisbon and I have never experienced any episode of violence or theft. People can walk freely even at night without having to worry. Portugal is a very quiet, calm and safe place and part of its charm also relies on that.
The touristic boom of the last years has seen the appearance of some petty crime, pickpockets, some of them even international, but overall Portugal remains a very safe destination. And the safety is indeed one of the factors that has helped attract so many tourists in the last decade.
Is Portugal safe? Portugal beats Spain and France
In the Global Peace Index, Portugal beats the neighbour Spain (38 in the ranking) and France (66). It is the safest country in the European Union, something that had already happened in 2019. Portugal has been also part of the top 5 safest countries in the world since 2016, according to the same index.
The ranking created by the Institute for Economics and Peace takes into consideration several factors like political stability, the occurrence of terrorism acts or violent demonstrations, as also, of course, the crime rates of each country.
Portugal has one of the lowest violent crime rate in Europe and that has contributed considerably to the third spot on the Global Peace Index. The stable political situation that the country has preserved in the last decades was also an important factor.
Safety, the wonderful climate and delicious food have become a magic trio attracting not only tourists from every corner of the world, but also new residents. Some still working and taking advantage, for example, of the startup vibe that has been flourishing in Lisbon in the last years and some others planning to retire in a country that offers such great conditions as also the opportunity to live a very comfortable life with still accessible prices.
Why the French love Portugal
A great example of this is the French community living in Portugal. In 2019 and according to the numbers of the French Embassy in Portugal, the number of French living here has increased 22%, compared with 2018. It is the 8th biggest international community living in Portugal (after Brasil, Cape Vert, UK, Romenia, Ukraine, China and Italy) and the 5th in terms of real state acquisition (after England, Brasil. Switzerland and China).
The Golden Visa policy and also the tax exemption for international residents are two other factors that have attracted thousands of foreigners to Portugal. Since 2009, the non-habitual resident regime has been working as a huge incentive to move to Portugal as foreign pensions were not taxed. The situation has been changed in 2021, but all the previous residents will still take advantage of the incentive making Portugal a very attractive country for European retired citizens.