Mumbai and Delhi were ranked the 16th and 18th unsafest in a list of 60 top cities of the world released by The Economist earlier in October. The two Indian cities also figure in the bottom 11 in health security and infrastructure safety.

The study uses 49 indicators to rank 60 cities under four categories: digital security, health security, personal security and infrastructure safety. This was the second edition of the Safe Cities Index, which was first released in 2015 by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Ten new cities were added to the 2017 index.

Mumbai and Delhi’s best standing was in personal security, in which they rank 30th and 33th.

  • Digital Security: Tokyo, Singapore and Chicago were listed the safest cities. Jakarta, Manila and Dhaka were at the bottom of the list. Mumbai and Delhi had the joint 46th rank.
  • Health Security: Osaka, Tokyo and Frankfurt topped the list, while Yangon, Dhaka and Karachi took up the bottom three ranks. Delhi came in 50th and Mumbai 55th.
  • Personal Security: Singapore, Wellington and Osaka were the safest cities in terms of personal security. Karachi, Caracas and Ho Chi Minh City were ranked the worst in this category. Mumbai and Delhi were at the 30th and 33rd positions.
  • Infrastructure Security: Singapore, Madrid and Barcelona had the top three positions, and Dhaka, Karachi and Yangon the last three. Mumbai and Delhi were 51st and 52nd.
  • Overall standings: Asian cities Tokyo, Singapore and Osaka were adjudged the safest cities, same as in 2015. Karachi was at the bottom of the list, followed by Yangon and Dhaka. Delhi was the 43rd safest city, and Mumbai, the 45th.

The study urged local governments to invest in cyber security commensurately, if they want to adopt smart cities with digital technologies. “If hackers were to shut down the power supply, an entire city would be left in chaos,” it said. “This prospect is something city officials now need to plan against.”

The study also observed that security was not necessarily linked with income. “Most of the cities in the top 10 of the index are high-income or upper middle-income cities,” it said. “However, two high-income cities in the Middle East [Jeddah and Riyadh] fall below position 40 in the index.”