HDB flats in Toa Payoh. Photo: The Straits Times

Singapore is the second safest country in the world, according to a new study conducted by ValuePenguin, a New York consultancy firm. The study compared seven “data points” - life expectancy, assaults, thefts, traffic deaths, police to population ratio, carbon dioxide emissions and population - from 106 countries to arrive at the conclusion.

Switzerland, with just seven violent crimes per 100,000 people, scored 37 (the lower the better) in the study. Singapore, which the firm called “the most environmentally-friendly country among the top five”, scored 42 in the study. Apparently, the fact that Singapore has a Department of Statistics and that the chief statistician “enjoys legislative protection” may have put us in a more favourable position, since the firm said that countries with more accessible data are likely to be safer than those without.

Spain lost to Singapore by just 0.97 points. It reported just 5.4 traffic deaths in 2010, ValuePenguin said in its report. Japan is in fourth place, in part, because of the high life expectancy of its people. Rankings of some other countries: Australia is at 12, Hong Kong is at 17, Brunei is in 27th place, and China is in 42nd place. African nations appeared mostly at the end of the list, with Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland in 104th, 105th and 106th respectively.