Is it safe to go to Europe: European Travel in light of Toulouse

Over the past week or so, a hot topic has been solo acts of terrorism.The gunman in Toulouse has many people worried, and understandably so.The thought that at any point you could be a victim of terrorism is enough to keep most people stateside.But my question is, IS IT SAFE TO GO TO EUROPE, especially in light of recent events?

How safe is Europe?

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United States had a homicide rate of 5 in 2009, with 15,241 homicides.Comparatively, Canada had a homicide rate of 1.8 in 2009, with 610 homicides. In contrast to both, Mexico had a homicide rate of 18.1 in 2010, with 20,585 homicides.

The following is a list of the countries in Europe I have listed in my second post, and their homicide statistics:

England (U.K.)……. had a homicide rate of 1.2, with 724 homicides in 2009

France……………….. had a homicide rate of 1.4, with 839 homicides in 2008

Spain…………………. had a homicide rate of 0.9, with 399 homicides in 2009

Belgium……………… had a homicide rate of 1.7, with 185 homicides in 2009

Ireland……………….. had a homicide rate of 1.2, with 53 homicides in 2010

Netherlands……….. had a homicide rate of 1.1, with 179 homicides in 2009

Switzerland………… had a homicide rate of 0.7, with 54 homicides in 2008

Italy…………………… had a homicide rate of 1, with 590 homicides in 2009

Germany……………. had a homicide rate of 0.8, with 690 homicides in 2010

Poland……………….. had a homicide rate of 1.3, with 493 homicides in 2009

Hungary…………….. had a homicide rate of 1.4, with 139 homicides in 2009

Scotland…………….. (Included in U.K. statistics)

Greece……………….. had a homicide rate of 1, with 118 homicides in 2008

All of the homicides provided for Europe (minus Russia which is in both Europe and Asia) combined equal approximately 9,500 homicides, over 5700 less homicides than the United States.

SO, in light of this data, Europe is generally a very safe place to travel and live.Most people worry about travelling to Europe more because of the unknown mystery of traveling abroad, than actual fear of violent crime.

But what about now?What about the Jewish School shooting in Toulouse?

The website addresses the issues of travelling abroad and is an invaluable resource for anyone considering traveling outside of the states.They regularly issue travel alerts for locations of travel that could be dangerous to U.S. citizens.According to their website, “Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, coups, anniversaries of terrorist events, election-related demonstrations or violence, and high-profile events such as international conferences or regional sports events are examples of conditions that might generate a Travel Alert.”

There are currently 5 travel alerts still in affect:

Japan – Issued in October of 2011 because of the Nuclear Power Plant

Egypt – Issued in November of 2011 because of “sporadic unrest”

South Pacific – Issued in December of 2011 due to Cyclone Season

Tunisia – Issued in January of 2012 because of political unrest/transition

Senegal – Issued in March of 2012 because of unrest and civil disturbance

Notice that Toulouse does not appear.France does not appear.Europe does not appear.What does that tell us?It tells us that sees the Toulouse events as an isolated incident and not an immediate threat for the future.

None of this is done to down play the terrorist attack; we must all be aware of the world we live in.However, I don’t think we should give this attack power over our lives.Statistically, an attack such as this is more likely to happen to us in the United States, than when we are travelling abroad.

So, the conclusion of this research is that we are no less safe traveling in Europe than we are staying in the United States.The vast majority of violent crime that happens in Europe, happens to the residence, and not the tourists.As a tourist we need to spend less time worrying about terrorists and more time watching our wallets.It is true that as a traveler abroad, you are hundreds of times more likely to be a victim of pickpockets than terrorist.But we will discuss that aspect of travel in a different post.

What do you think about travelling under the current international climate?Do you agree or disagree?Let’s talk about it below.

2 Responses to “Is it safe to go to Europe: European Travel in light of Toulouse”
  1. droseblog says:

    Malta is actually one of the safest!

    • Yeah I’ve heard great things about Malta! One of my favorite teachers moved there a few years ago. His name is Andrew Engwall… He teaches english somewhere over there! He loves it from what I can tell!! Seems like a very cool place!

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