10 Best Places to Live for Escaping World Conflict

Where would you be the safest if World War 3 broke out tomorrow? Perhaps it’s a grim subject, but safety and distance from world conflict can be a motivating factor in your choice to expatriate. At the very least, conflict around the world can weigh heavy on the soul, and it’s nice to know there are some places still left in the world where you might be left in peace. Thus, we’ve assembled a list of the 10 best places to live if you want to escape world conflict.

10. Switzerland


Switzerland’s long history of neutrality and its tucked away location among the valleys of the Alps still make it a safe bet, even despite having a high number of bordering nations. It helps that neighboring Austria is also considered a neutral nation.

9. Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a stable democracy, a disbanded military and a national policy of neutrality. It also ranks highly on the Global Peace Index, Happy Planet Index, and Life Satisfaction Index. Although it sits in the middle of a tumultuous region, there are far worse places to sit in peace as the world goes down in flames all around.

8. Papua New Guinea


There are regions of Papua New Guinea that are still being discovered for the first time. The canopy covered, mountainous nation contains some of the most isolated places in the world. Tuck yourself away in a nook here and it may be one of the few places left where you can completely insulate yourself from the outside world.

7. Canada


Canada is the second largest nation in the world, yet it only shares a land border with one other country– the U.S.A.– and it is a peaceful border. That means there is a great expanse to escape to, if need be. Furthermore, Canada has few world enemies, ranks consistently high on the Global Peace Index, and is relatively homogeneous.

6. Seychelles


Aside from being safely isolated from the rest of the world in the middle of the Indian Ocean, this beautiful island nation is a great place to forget about your worries. Isolation is the key here. And conflict is as transparent as the water.

5. Finland


Finland has a long history of desiring to stay out of international conflicts, is recognized as neutral and always ranks in the top 10 of the Global Peace Index. It’s northerly location also typically means the remote areas of this country are a perfect place to disappear.

4. Tuvalu


Isolated in the middle of Micronesia, Tuvalu is among the safest and most remote places in the world. It is the third least populated country on Earth, and the forth smallest. There are only a few places more distant from the world’s strife than Tuvalu.

3. Iceland


Iceland, of course, has no borders, has remote locations, is stable as a country and has virtually no world enemies. Its people are happy and the nation always ranks highly on the Global Peace Index. If world conflict erupts, Iceland is one of the few stable nations in the world unlikely to get caught up in the middle.

2. Bhutan


Landlocked among the Himalaya mountains, Bhutan is one of the most isolated nations in the world. It also showcases one of the most stable balances in the world between moderization and retention of ancient culture. Its religious population believes in peaceful resolution to all conflict, and although it sits in a troubled region, it remains protected by its geography.

1. New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand might be the most isolated and expansive fully developed nation in the world. It shares no borders, sits relatively distant from any other nation, has no real national enemies, has a safe democracy and a diverse landscape with many remote places to hide away within. Furthermore, it ranked #1 on the Global Peace Index in 2009.


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946 Responses to “10 Best Places to Live for Escaping World Conflict”

  1. Have lived in many countries
    April 19, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    I have lived in many countries – France, Mexico, Hong Kong and Canada.
    Have to laugh at Zam’s comments. People will find excuses for their failure.
    I live in Canada now and have for many, many years and have lived from coast to coast. I live in Toronto now and work with many, many “new” Canadians. I would say where I work at least 30% are not born Canadians. And they are doing very well thank you. Why are they working and the others not? Maybe the others have not upgraded their skills, improved their english (or french) to an adequate level etc.
    There is a lot of danger in making assumptions and listening to disgruntled people who are EVERYWHERE.

    Oh, and by the way, I have NEVER heard of food stamps in Canada – are you sure you werent somewhere else? ;-D

  2. Anna
    April 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    The picture of Finland doesn’t look like Finland. It’s mostly a flat country with only Lapland boasting with high peaks. I doubt the photo is from Finland at all.

  3. Zam
    April 19, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    To all of you smug, arrogant native Canadians reading this I say screw you!! I’m glad I pissed you off. You need to hear what I said and you know it! You know why you’re all pissed off at me? Because I told you the unvarnished TRUTH about your over-priced, “Canadian experience only” country. Like I said before: that so many of you native Canucks are so angry at me for what I’ve said about your country I take as a compliment: when someone says the truth about something, the first reaction from the public is that he is attacked and put down—like you’re doing to me here. I paid my dues living in Canada for 3 long years and typed up my experiences here on this website for all to read. I did this as a public service, to warn off any folks out there who naively think (as I once did) that Canada was a good place to immigrate to—and it IS NOT for all the reasons I itemized here already. Not to mention the Iranian immigrant fellow who chimed in most excellently, totally validating and reinforcing my comments. His comments reveal the dark underbelly of immigration to Canada. So very many people living in Canada agree with what we’ve both said here. I’m not going to re-type what I’ve already typed up, so please, dear readers use the ‘back button’ on this thread to read my earlier posts regarding the harsh realities of immigrating to Canada. Be forewarned! This is no trick, no ruse, no ploy. It is the truth about the perils of immigrating to Canada that you should know about. As a final comment to all those Canadians who falsely accuse me of “taking advantage of someone’s generosity or kindness”—as if I moved to Canada to sit on my ass and collect welfare payouts, all I can say is ‘fuck you’ for that smear tactic. I never got one thin dime from the Canadian government the whole time I was in that country. Pulled my own weight, and worked hard the whole fucking time/or lived off my savings until I got out. No, there was no generosity to be had there. I even volunteered at food banks and old folks homes while in Canada, so STFU already. To the contrary, Canada got a huge chunk of my own money through the entire fiasco: thousand dollars in immigration application fees for example, and endless bureaucracy payouts for this or that license, registration fee, etc. Fact is, immigration is big busine$$ in Canada—not only for the government but also for countless immigrant settlement services, who prey on unsuspecting immigrants, massively charging them for all manner of services. To any would-be immigrants to Canada: you have been warned.

  4. Jack
    April 20, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    Haven’t been to Canada since 2001. The anti-Americanism of the politicians and the newspapers turned me off but generally found the people to be OK. The economy has turned around since then, so opportunity for employable folks is probably much better than years ago. Have to chuckle a bit because so many holier than thou Canadians have tossed fireballs at us via You Tube and blogs. Left wing politics is largely based on Ad Hominem attacks.

    Best wishes to all who seek peaceful and productive lives on this planet.

  5. Christy
    April 23, 2012 at 4:39 am #

    Good ones! We’ve got to also add Belize to the list. Secluded yet not too far, stable government and you can use the American dollar.

  6. Gerry
    April 25, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    I am a born Canadian. Travelled the world, met many people. Despite the bureaucratic nightmare that exists in Canada, I call myself a proud Canadian. I judge a country by its people, the landscape, and so many other factors, NOT by the Government that runs them. Like I said, I’ve visited many countries throughout the world, travelled across Canada & the US coast to coast. Anyone can gripe about a country based on their experience, but these are yours and yours alone. Living for less than 10 yrs here, you experienced nothing. Immigrating here and not liking our way of life….tuff shit! This is the way we roll, this is typical of many new Canadians who come to our country….wanting to change the way we live…hell if you don’t like it….go back home…and change that….stop fucking with our way of life….we didnt ask you to come here in the first place. Furthermore, for those who have asked……YES it’s cold here…and we like it…..move to California…if you want warmth.

  7. Debbie
    April 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Thats it, Im emigrating to Canada or New Zealand!Iceland and Finland a bit too chilly for mwah!

  8. Burk
    April 27, 2012 at 6:56 am #


    One thing that I can’t resists asking:
    Didd you have a goof time?

  9. Steve
    April 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Well, I’m from Canada and currently living in China. Thinking of possibly retiring in Costa Rica. Too cold and too expensive in the Great White North!

  10. nancy
    April 28, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Hi everyone :)I just wanted to post a comment to let everyone know about a well kept secret..If you really want to live in the safest place on earth you need to be in the place that has the fewest natural disasters. The most peaceful society, lots of fresh water, plenty of space, accessable to everyone by water, no land boarders with any country, and has a good natural food suppily. It’s where I live. It’s Newfoundland the tenth province of Canada…..but you should never compare it to Canada because we our nothing like our Country….WE ARE IT”S WELL KEPT SECRET!!!!!If the prophecies of the Bible, Mayan’s, Inca’s, Nostradamus,Egyptians etc. are true then we are on the brink of a worldwide catastrophe…if you find yourself looking for a place to be safe make your way to the west coast of Newfoundland to The Bay St. George region.We have one of the largest naturally sheltered harbours in the world. We may be in the middle of the Atlantic but the geography of our region completly protects us from the outer Atlantic ocean…We have been proven to be the ancient mountains of the world…fossils found on our coast has proven this. We are in the center of the world’s largest earthquake free zone…we have no volcanoes…no tornadoes…no hurricaines, just tail ends that give a little extra wind…we hace 4 perfect seasons….lots of wildlife and berries, fish…we have a very small population 500,000 with lots of land for everyone. When the world goes in darkness run to the ancient mountains..the place God has left prestine for the safety of his chosen..The NEWFOUNDLAND…..the last place on earth that will be free, cause we won’t be destroyed by the forces of nature. I have an Anthropology Degree from Memorial University Of Newfoundland if it helps to validate my opinion…I hope everyone stays safe… and please remember. you can get here by boat from anywhere in the world. John Cabot found us without electronics, I bet others could too. Take care and God Bless..

  11. stefano olcese
    April 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    peru is missing. look about it… full of rivers including the amazon and wide variety of ecosystems.

  12. Dyanorama
    May 1, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I was surprised to see New Zealand on the list and it being referred to as having a “safe democracy”. As a New Zealander, I heartily dispute and refute this claim. The current governing party (built on a house of cards) is selling off the country’s resources and assets, restricting freedom of choice through various legislation that doesn’t support the majority view of its citizens, the current donation scandal (small fry in the grand scheme of things) and a Prime Minister who led the run on New Zealand currency in the late ’80’s and has a significant investment in the Bank of America – the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

  13. Tomislav
    May 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    Yea. Nice list, altho Croatian islands are good too. And yes, as Anna noticed, Finland picture is not in Finland.

  14. Alayna
    May 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Seriously?? Costa Rica is NOT safe. At all. they have their own problems rebounding within borders. It’s almost impossible for foreign people to live there. I lived there for three long years, we left because of the escalating crime rates and inflation. Terrible corrupt country.

  15. numbandlonely
    May 4, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Definitely Costa Rica and New Zealand :)))

  16. Don
    May 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    After seeing all the negative comments regarding various countries and why they are so horrible, I can only come to the conclution many of your problems arise from your basic attitude Grow up!

  17. freshfire
    May 5, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Glad u said that,was making plans to head to Costa Rica.

  18. Yesplease
    May 6, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    I am a Canadian citizen born and raised here. I have to say that some of the criticism pointed towards Canada as a country is true. I am currently living in Vancouver, I am a professional making an above average income and I find this place impossible to live in. A fixer upper house will cost you $750,000 in a bad part of town and our effective tax rate all in is about 65% depending on your location. Bread is $5 bucks a loaf on sale and gas is double the U.S price and we make the stuff. Because of my career I need to be in a major city so I can’t pack up and move to a smaller cheaper place so I am somewhat stuck.

    There are other issues, Bill C51 is a real threat to our democracy and the government truly is taking away our freedoms. These are facts for anyone willing to research this on their own and it is sad for me to say, but something really is going on here and its not good. We are so busy making ends meet that we are not seeing the forest for the trees.

  19. Tantrix
    May 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm #


    5$ for a loaf of bread…are you mad? $2 – $3 tops… Plus Canada’s Marginal tax rate (at it’s highest) is 50%; and that’s in Nova Scotia. In BC it’s 43.7% and where I am in Ontario it’s 46.4%. Not to mention that the healthcare that you enjoy free of charge is one of the best on the planet and our banking system is the envy of the planet.

    If you are going to make such claims then at least do your research. I respect your opinion but credibility backed up with widely published statistics will boost you “believability” in the future.

  20. makingmagic
    May 11, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    I agree with Yesplease I lived in asia for a few years and noticed how bad the government is in Canada. It was great back in the old days but the government is corrupt as hell now. They are taking our freedom little by little by the day, they are sending troops and invading the middle east for their minerals teamed up with the US I was proud to be canadian but not these last 20 years.. I rather live in the 3rd world then live in some police state where they ID you and suck you dry. Canada is a beautiful country with great people but we are dumbing down and the government will take every advantage they can to stay on top. Believe me its gonna get worst.

  21. The Pragmatic Objector
    May 16, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Errrm has anyone heard of “Australia”?

  22. Sandy
    May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    @Tantrix – erm….I live in North Vancouver and loaves of bread at Safeway cost $5. I have also seen refried beans at Sav-On supermarket for $4–which is much too expensive. I would also mention that in British Columbia healthcare is not “free” as you claim: I must pay $60 per month for health insurance in BC, which is mandatory. Waits for medical services are extremely long: I waited over a year for a medical procedure I needed to have done last year. So I would agree with ‘Yesplease’ and disagree with you.

  23. John
    May 18, 2012 at 5:47 am #

    That’s it! I’m moving to Lord of the Rings country! New Zealand!

  24. Fantasyland
    May 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m surprised Fiji was not mentioned. I should say that this piece of paradise nestled within the Pacific region is astoundingly “Heaven on Earth”…Come enjoy the tropical sand, the warm sun…The trouble free envoirnment which most folks from around the world long for. You will simply fall in love with it!!!!

  25. peter
    May 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I might add that Tuvalu is currently sinking, or at least the water around it is rising. Just warning all you escapists :), i have been to a lot of these countries and all very nice places to visit. Couldn’t tell you about living there though.

  26. Aaron
    May 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    If I had a million dollars, I would go to each of these places.

  27. Reuben
    May 25, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Go NZ!!

  28. Generallee27
    May 29, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Bugger, after reading all the negative comment’s about ALL the Nation’s of the World, I don’t think there would be ANY safe place to go in the event of WW3/Rising Sea Levels/and a Micro-Chipped RFID population!!!

    Well that’s my bubble well and truly burst! If you want to know the WORST Nation in the World to live – it has to be Scotland!

    I know Canadian’s and American’s have Romantacist notion’s about us because of genetic heritage, but I have lived here most of my life, and am native to this Country! It is a complete toilet! It has the worst violence in Europe (with Glsagow being the most violent City in Europe), it has the worst social mobility in the Western World (if you are born poor – you stay poor), most of the population is working class (no oppertunity to become Middle Class due to high taxes, socialism and benefit culture), it is full of Ned’s and Junkies, there is little or no oppertunity to have your dream’s become a reality, and the people here are HORRENDOUS (2 faced, backstabber’s and piss taker’s – the F****** lot of them)!

    If you think I’m wrong, then move here for a year. I have American friend’s who moved here and their son was attacked by a mob outside his house and called an American B******! Lovley! I experienced that treatment at school here too, and I am from this S***hole! No wonder we also have one of the highest suicide rate’s in the World!

    Just think, Scotland is like this NOW, and the nuke’s havn’t even started to fly yet! Just imagine what this dump will be like when they do?

    You want to know where I wanna be when the Chinese and Russian’s get frisky with the old targeting software??? Anywhere but here! Compared to Scotland, I’d rather be in Washinton D.C. staring out an incoming ICBM than be a survivor in Scotland!

    For a Nation that import’s 40% of it’s food, don’t hold out on us as being a good place to sit out a Nuclear winter.

    Perhap’s the only safe place will be deep underground, like 80% of the elite are planning on running too! Even the Queen has bought land in Colorado, that’s where she’s planning on running to when the old mushroom cloud’s suddenly sprout up over our Citie’s like the unwelcome fiery fungas that they are! Fuck, I even hope they do hit Scotland, one more less dump in the World!

  29. Armands
    June 1, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    I would go to Switzerland – I love that country and it’s wonderful nature.

  30. Zam Sr.
    June 4, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    @Zam.. Give ur head a shake bud. Obviously not everyone’s going to love Canada but do a little research before you make these ridiculous comments. After 3 years in Canada you think you know more about the place than people who have spent a lifetime here… Not a single thing you’ve said about Canada has been accurate and all I can say is every time a duster like yourself leaves the country it gets a whole lot better.

  31. yousef
    June 6, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    hey everybody come and visit my country , here is a part of paradise , I,m living in IRAN kissssssssssss

  32. KiwiBunkerBuilder
    June 8, 2012 at 5:43 am #


    Firstly, John Key has connections to Merrill Lynch, not BoA.
    He was head of foreign exchange, dammit do some research?

    Secondly, your attitude to your own country coming first is a very New Zealand one. Tall poppy syndrome.

  33. Chamnan
    June 10, 2012 at 4:32 am #

    Switzerland, New Zealand, Canada and Finland, those are my favorite place to live.

  34. Douglas
    June 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    How about the country which has had peace the longest (: Sweden?! If they stopped exporting weapons their GPI would be the lowest.

  35. Angela
    June 19, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    In response to this:

    “The picture of Finland doesn’t look like Finland. It’s mostly a flat country with only Lapland boasting with high peaks. I doubt the photo is from Finland at all.”

    Looking at a topographic map of Finland, while the majority of the country is fairly low lying, there is are mountainous regions in the far north of the country that peak between 200 and 600 feet above sea level. Not to mention the fact that a simple image search of Finland yields a multitude of photographs similar to the one pictured in this article, not all of which could feasibly be fake.

  36. Natasha von Geldern
    June 21, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Papua New Guinea may be isolated and beautiful but the capital is VERY rough & ready with security issues. And out in the bush a friend of mine was beaten up by a villager who emerged from the forest and tried to attack his girlfriend.

  37. rolfen
    June 22, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    Where is Germany? Germany has a resolutely anti-militarist culture since the end of WW2. It has a very small and discrete (yet efficient) army. It is positioned right in the middle of Europe, and surrounded by peaceful nations. Germany will go to great length to avoid being dragged in conflicts; great paperwork and deliberations is involved when the army is used for anything else then last-measure homeland defense.

  38. prasanna bandara
    June 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    i have never been to any country but those countries are very beautiful.they have good climate. i wish when ever i can go there

  39. Lauren
    June 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Definitely definitely New Zealand. We were there for three weeks a couple of years ago, and I have never met more happy, helpful people in one go in all my life.

    And the cost of living isn’t too expensive either, especially compared to Britain, where I’m from. ( needless to say, I don’t live there anymore. Neither do i live in NZ, sad to say. At 19, I have barely any of the criteria needed on the immigration papers.)

    The thing that made me fall in love with New Zealand properly was this.

    We were staying in a a guest house on our way to the town of Twizel, and the double doors of the living area looked out over fields, and past those was Mount Cook. It was BREATHTAKING, like having the mountain in your back garden. We sat my grandmother in a chair at those doors, and she said. ” Wow. Please, just leave me here until I die.”

  40. Peopleclicking
    June 29, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    No body mentioned Alaska! Alaska has many remote areas that are safe from the puplic eye, if you ever visited the Aleutian Chain then you know what I’m talking about, total isolation.

  41. Fofa
    July 12, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    Ummm, if u really want the SAFEST PLACE ON EARTH, its Makkah, Its a holy place and have been the safest place ever since i where born :3.

  42. JIM
    July 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    You missed out a little Gem there. Ireland, tucked away in the mid atlantic, no land borders prevailing winds ensuring any fallout is swept away from it towards others. Stable, developed and Fun.
    also the further west you go the better it gets.

  43. [email protected]
    July 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Would happily live in pretty much any of these places – and good to know I would be pretty safe. Canada and Finland probably high on the list. I’m a Brit and a fan of the cold!!

  44. bambi
    July 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    nr.10 is Lungern in Switzerland! the village where I live! yay 😀

  45. Raina
    July 28, 2012 at 4:24 am #

    What about Australia??

    It is has no borders, is a peaceful democracy, there are plenty of remote forests and deserts as well as capital cities and it has fewer earthquakes than NZ!!

  46. Geraldine
    July 30, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    what about Philippines?
    Philippines offers lot of variety of best spots and also good food. A peaceful place and surely you can relax here.

  47. Paul
    August 3, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    This is bollocks, putting NZ as #1 safest place in WWIII!!!! We might present the appearance of neutrality, but we are definitely aligned with the western powers in our allegiances, and as far as being isolated and away from everywhere else, does that really matter in terms of modern warfare? We also have a navy and army that are more token than anything, so in the event of an actual invasion we would be basically incapable of defending our borders…. so your rating is arse.

  48. Rawan
    August 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Nowaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy DUBAII Is the BOMB!! Are you kidding?!?!!!

  49. Koyaa
    August 18, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    So how come Finland and Iceland made it on but not Sweden or Denmark?
    I can see why Norway wouldn’t be there due to the strategic value European oil would have but there really is nothing else to separate the other two.
    Iceland is a NATO country so any war involving them Iceland would be immediately dragged into.
    And although both Finland and Sweden are both considered neutral Finlands proximity to Russia has always been and still is a source of a lot of tension(which was why they got dragged into WW2 when Sweden was not).
    And the other part of the argument with peace index is not it couse I know all Nordic countries consistently place in the top 10.

  50. leolund
    August 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I think you mixed up Finland and Sweden. Finland is not neutral and have been involved in war both with Sovietunion and Hitler. Sweden has always been neutral and have not been at war for more than 200 years

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