According to a Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) report released in late 2023, Canada is considered the world’s safest country for travellers in 2023-2024.
BHTP notes that the overall rankings are based on an average of “all measures from [BHTP’s] State of Travel Insurance research”, which combines “six sub-category scores as the basis” for the rankings.
Furthermore, BHTP notes that it balances its own surveyed “ratings with other indices and information, including the Global Peace Index and the State Department’s own travel safety ratings”, adding that BHTP “also [averages] the GeoSure Global scores of the major cities in each country.”
Together BHTP uses this variety of measures to “calculate a weighted score that reflects each country’s overall safety.”
More: To read BHTP’s full 2023-2024 report, including information on changes in BHTP rankings over the years, caveats and the history and methodology of these rankings, click here.
Canada’s ranking is up five spots from a year ago
Up from sixth place in BHTP’s rankings last year, Canada has ascended to the top spot in the rankings for the world’s safest places to travel this year.
According to the report, key reasons for Canada’s high ranking include “cold weather and low population density, [which] make for safe travels.”
Further, each of the top 15 countries in BHTP’s rankings was given a dedicated section in this year’s report, which included a section titled “what you need to watch out for.”
For Canada, this section identified wildfires as an area of concern for travellers, noting that “Canada’s plethora of forests were seemingly all burning, which has reduced air quality in most major Canadian cities. This made travel to Canada difficult for people with respiratory conditions.”
Still, the quote included in Canada’s dedicated section of the report (from Gap Year Travel Store) sums up travel safety across the country this way, saying “as travelling destinations go it really doesn’t get much safer than Canada … Violent crime is comparatively low and there is a low incidence of gun-related crime.”
Breaking down Canada’s ranking by sub-category
BHTP’s report uses the following dimensions to produce an overall ranking of the safest countries for travel:
- Safety from violent crime
- Safety from terrorism
- Transportation safety*
- Health measures (including disease)
- Safety for groups (women, travellers of colour and LGBTQ+ travellers)
Notably, Canada ranked first in all sub-categories included as part of this year’s ranking. Click here to view the top 10 countries according to each sub-category.
*BHTP notes that transportation safety includes “countries with either well-developed road and transportation systems (everywhere but Iceland) or a limited need to travel far (Iceland).”
BHTP rankings by age and income
BHTP also notes that survey respondents for the 2023-2024 version of these rankings “had wildly different perceptions of the world’s safest countries depending on their age and income.”
Still, in most cases, Canada remained in the top four safest countries for travel according to these sub-groups.
In comparison to the overall rankings, the following indicates how Canada’s place in BHTP’s rankings would have differed if presented based on the responses from specific groups of respondents.
Among Millennials who responded to BHTP’s survey, Canada ranked fourth in overall travel safety behind Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK).
Among members of Gen Z who responded to BHTP’s survey, Canada remained number one in overall travel safety.
Respondents with a household income over $200,000
Among BHTP survey respondents who fell into this household income category, Canada ranked second in overall travel safety behind only Portugal.
Respondents spending more than $25,000 per year on travel
Among BHTP survey respondents who fell into this travel spending category, Canada ranked sixth in overall travel safety behind the Netherlands, Hungary, the UK, the Bahamas and Portugal.
“Mature” survey respondents
Although the report does not specify the age that qualifies respondents as “mature”, BHTP survey respondents who fell into this age group ranked Canada as the ninth safest country for travel overall. For this group of respondents, Canada ranked behind:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
For parents who responded to BHTP’s survey, Canada remained number one in overall travel safety.
Uniquely, BHTP survey respondents who identified as members of the LGBTQ+ community were the only sub-group of respondents who completely left Canada outside their top 10 safest countries for travel.