Jakarta ranks fourth from bottom in The Economist’s new Safe Cities Index

Ranking from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Safe Cities Index 2017”
Ranking from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Safe Cities Index 2017”

According to a new study done by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the Indonesian capital of Jakarta is one of the most dangerous major cities to live in, ranking near the bottom in 57th place out of the 60 cities included in their 2017 Safe Cities Index.

The good news? You could consider that an improvement since Jakarta came in dead last in the last edition of the Safe Cities Index from 2015. However, the report notes that Jakarta was “pulled from the bottom by the addition of Karachi and other cities like Yangon and Dhaka” which were not included in the 2015 index which only included 50 cities.

Indeed, Jakarta’s overall score in the new index, 53.39, is actually slightly worse than its score in the 2015 index. However, Dhaka (#58), Yangon (#59) and Karachi (#60) all had significantly worse scores than Jakarta, with Karachi’s scoring a scary 38.77 (compared to #1 Tokyo’s score of 89.80), due largely to the high frequency of deadly terrorist attacks in the densely populated Pakistani city.

Following Tokyo at the top of the safest city rankings are Singapore, Osaka, Toronto and Melbourne.

The Safe Cities Index determines its score by measuring data and getting expert opinions on a variety of quantitative and qualitative safety indicators, including digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety.

Jakarta was ranked last in digital security (measuring how vulnerable the city’s infrastructure and citizens are to cybercrimes), #56 in health security and #51 in personal security.

While these rankings should be sobering stuff for all Jakartans (except perhaps insurance salesmen) it should be noted that there are others that think Jakarta is a relatively safe place to live.

Take, for example, this paragraph from the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council’s “2013 Crime and Safety Report: Jakarta”:

“Jakarta has a population of approximately 10,000,000 residents, including foreigners. For 2012, there were reported 12,999 violent crimes: 132 murders; 85 rapes; 2,843 aggravated assaults; 8,526 burglaries; 1,630 thefts; and 7,340 vehicle thefts. The general crime rates on a per capita basis must be taken into context as Indonesia’s crime rate is lower than similar crimes reported in many large, western hemisphere cities.”

Just to compare, Bangkok’s homicide rate (per 100,000 per people) is 4, Amsterdam’s is 4.4 and New York City’s is 5.6 (based on data from 2009). According to OSAC’s statistics, Jakarta’s would be a 1.3, meaning you’re over four times more likely to get murdered in New York than Jakarta (yay?).

At any rate, you can read the full text of The Economist’s “Safe Cities Index 2017” report and decide for yourself how terrified you should be living here.

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