Safest Country in Case of Nuclear War: Top 20 Candidates

When it comes to global disasters, few things are more terrifying than the prospect of nuclear war. The devastation wrought by even a single atomic bomb is unparalleled, and the thought of an all-out nuclear conflict is enough to send anyone running for cover.

Fortunately, there are still some places on Earth that would be relatively safe in the event of a nuclear war. These countries have either developed extensive anti-nuclear capabilities or are geographically isolated enough that they would be unlikely targets for a nuclear strike. Some of these countries are listed in the following video:

So, what is the safest country in case of nuclear war? Here are top 20 candidates for surviving a nuclear war.

1. Iceland

Iceland is a small island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of just over 300,000 people and an area of 103,000 square kilometers. Iceland is one of the safest countries in case of nuclear war due to its isolation, lack of military, and geothermal energy.

Because Iceland is isolated from the rest of the world by the North Atlantic Ocean, it would be very difficult for a nuclear missile to reach Iceland without being detected first. Even if a nuclear missile did manage to reach Iceland, there wouldn’t be much damage because of the small population and size of the country.

Iceland doesn’t have a standing army or any other military force. This means that there would be no one to target with a nuclear weapon. The only people who would be at risk are those working in vital infrastructure such as power plants or airports. However, even these workers could take shelter underground where they would be safe from radiation exposure.

Finally, Iceland generates all of its electricity from geothermal sources. This means that even if the entire electrical grid went down, Iceland would still have power thanks to its natural hot springs.


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2. Canada

Canada is definitely one of the leading candidates to survive a nuclear war. First and foremost, Canada has a very strong military alliance with the United States through NORAD. In fact, the two countries have such a close relationship that they often coordinate their military exercises. This means that if one country were to be attacked by a nuclear weapon, the other would most likely come to its aid.

Furthermore, Canada has a large landmass and population spread out over a wide area. This makes it less likely that a single nuclear strike could wipe out the entire country. Additionally, many parts of Canada are relatively remote and sparsely populated, which would also help reduce casualties in the event of an attack.

It’s also worth noting that Canada has some experience dealing with nuclear accidents, but thanks to quick action by authorities and military forces, there were no deaths or long-term health effects reported in Canada as a result. This shows that even in the worst-case scenario, Canadian officials would be able to effectively deal with a nuclear crisis.

3. Australia

Australia is often cited as a top candidate for the safest country in case of nuclear war. And it’s no wonder why – Australia is a vast, empty continent with few major population centers. It would be very difficult for an enemy to target all of Australia in a nuclear attack, and even if they did, the sparse population means that there would be relatively few casualties.

In addition, Australia has a strong military alliance with the United States, which would provide additional protection in a time of a nuclear war. The U.S. has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons, and it is unlikely that any adversary would risk attacking Australia knowing that they would face such a formidable opponent.

As a nation, Australia also has a lot of resilience and experience in recuperating from a nation-wide disaster, such as the infamous bushfires. All in all, this strong country can face and overcome even a nuclear warfare.

4. New Zealand

New Zealand is often thought of as a peaceful and idyllic country, far removed from the troubles of the world. But did you know that it’s also one of the leading countries that can survive a nuclear war, according to a new study?

The research, conducted by the University of Southampton and published in the journal Nature Communications, looked at which countries would be most likely to survive a nuclear bomb.

New Zealand ranked highly due to its distance from major nuclear targets, its small population, and its lack of military infrastructure.

“The likelihood of New Zealand being caught up in a large-scale nuclear conflict is extremely low,” said lead author Alex Wellerstein.

If you want to learn more about Australia and New Zealand, especially their geographical isolation from the rest of humanity, watch the following video:

5. Norway

Norway is one of the safest European countries when it comes to nuclear war. In fact, Norway was ranked in 2021 by the Global Peace Index as the 14th most peaceful country in the world.

There are a number of reasons why Norway is such a safe place to be during a nuclear war. First, Norway has a very small population compared to other countries. This means that there would be fewer people affected if there were a nuclear attack on Norwegian soil.

Second, Norway is geographically isolated from other countries, to some degree. This isolation makes it less likely that Norway would be caught up in a regional conflict that could lead to nuclear war.

Finally, Norway is a member of NATO and has close ties to the United States. These relationships help to ensure that Norway would have access to military support, if it happens to be attacked.

6. Sweden

Sweden is often thought of as a peaceful country. For instance, its homicide rate is the third lowest in the world. But Sweden isn’t just a safe place to live – it’s also one of the safest countries on this list.

That’s because Sweden has a strong policy of neutrality and non-alignment, meaning that it doesn’t take sides in international conflicts or belong to any military alliances. This makes it less likely that Sweden would be drawn into a nuclear conflict.

But Sweden isn’t just relying on luck – it also has a well-developed civil defense system. In case of an attack, Swedish citizens are advised to go indoors and stay there until the “all clear” is given. The government has also stockpiled food and supplies and built underground shelters where people can seek refuge.

Sweden also has a large landmass with very low population density, meaning there wouldn’t be as many targets for enemy missiles. Additionally, Sweden has a strong economy and well-developed infrastructure.

So, if you’re looking for a safe place to ride out a nuclear war, Sweden is definitely worth considering.

7. Finland

Let’s be honest, when it comes to nuclear war, there is no such thing as a 100% safe country. But some countries are safer than others, and Finland is one of them. Here’s why:

  1. Finland is geographically isolated from the rest of Europe.
  2. Finland has a small population and a large land area, so there would be fewer people affected by a nuclear attack.
  3. Finland has a strong civil defense system that includes shelters and evacuation plans.
  4. Finnish law requires that all buildings be designed and built to withstand an explosion equivalent to a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb (about the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima).
  5. The Finnish government has stockpiled emergency food, water, and medicine.
  6. Finns are generally prepared for emergencies and have a “can do” attitude when it comes to dealing with difficult situations.

8. Cambodia

Cambodia has been through a lot in recent history. From the Vietnam War to the Khmer Rouge regime, the country has seen its share of conflict. But today, Cambodia is at peace, and it’s one of the most secure countries on the planet.

That’s why, when we were looking for the safest countries, Cambodia was on our list. Here are some of the factors in its favor:

  1. There are no nuclear weapons in Cambodia.
  2. The country is not involved in any international conflicts.
  3. Cambodians are some of the most hospitable people in the world. You’d be welcomed with open arms if you sought refuge here during a time of crisis.
  4. The countryside is beautiful and there would be plenty of food and water to go around if you had to live off the land here.

9. Thailand

If you’re looking for a safe place to be in case of nuclear war, Thailand is definitely one of the contenders. Here are some of the reasons:

  1. It’s geographically isolated from potential adversaries. Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, far away from any potential nuclear targets. Additionally, the country is surrounded by several large bodies of water, which would help protect it from radiation in the event of a nuclear explosion
  2. Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is home to some of the best hospitals in Southeast Asia. These facilities would be critical in treating those who are injured or sickened by radiation exposure following a nuclear attack.
  3. Thai forces are well-trained and equipped and would be able to defend the country effectively.
  4. The Thai government has close ties with the United States, which would provide protection and assistance if an attack takes place.
  5. Thailand has a robust economy and infrastructure, so it would be able to recover quickly after an attack. Despite being hit hard by the global recession, Thailand’s economy has been slowly recovering thanks to strong exports and tourism growth. This economic stability would help fund reconstruction efforts after a nuclear attack and provide jobs for those left unemployed by the disaster.

Safest Country - Nuclear Map

10. Greenland (Denmark)

Greenland is the world’s largest island, located in the Arctic Ocean between Canada and Iceland. Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory with a population of approximately 57,000 people. Although it is sparsely populated, Greenland has a rich cultural heritage and its own language, Inuit.

Greenland’s location means that it would be out of range of most nuclear missiles. Even if another country did manage to launch a missile at Greenland, the vast majority of the island is covered by ice sheet, meaning that there would likely be little damage done.

In addition to its geographical isolation, Greenland also has very few military targets. There are no large cities or industrial facilities on the island, making it less attractive as a target for nuclear attack. And even if Greenland were targeted, the small population size means that there would be fewer casualties than in other countries.

11. Maldives

Maldives is an archipelago of 26 atolls, with over 1,000 individual islands. The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean south of India and Sri Lanka.

Maldives is often hailed as one of the best locations in case of an apocalyptic event. The reason is not surprising: this small island nation is in the middle of the Ocean, far away from any potential targets. Plus, with an average elevation of just 1.5 meters above sea level, the Maldives would be virtually unaffected by a nuclear blast.

But what makes the Maldives even more appealing as a safe haven is its political stability. Unlike many other countries in the world, there has never been a military coup or civil war in Maldives history. This makes it one of the most peaceful countries on earth – and an ideal place to survive a nuclear war.

12. Fiji

Fiji is often thought of as a paradise on Earth. With its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and lush tropical forests, Fiji is a true natural gem. But what many people don’t realize is that Fiji is also among the most secure nations in the world, in the event of a nuclear war.

Here are some reasons why Fiji would be the perfect place to weather a nuclear apocalypse:

  1. It’s isolated from the rest of the world. Fiji is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far away from any major landmasses. This isolation means that it would be less likely to be targeted in a nuclear attack.
  2. There are no large cities or important targets on Fiji. Since there are no large cities or important military or political targets on Fiji, it’s unlikely that the country would be bombed in a nuclear war.
  3. The terrain is largely uninhabitable. Most of Fiji consists of mountains, jungles, and reefs, making it unsuitable for large-scale human habitation. This lack of population density would make it easier to avoid fallout from a nearby nuclear explosion.
  4. There are few roads and infrastructure. This makes sense when you consider that much of the terrain isn’t suitable for human settlement (see point 3). Fewer roads mean fewer targets for bombers.
  5. The government has made preparations for emergencies like this. In 1982, the Fijian government established an Emergency Operations Centre in Nadi which coordinates disaster response efforts for all types of emergencies, including nuclear disasters.
  6. There are plenty of caves and underground tunnels. These could provide shelter from nuclear radiation.

13. Tonga

Tonga is a Polynesian island nation, which is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, far from any potential targets. It’s also surrounded by some of the deepest waters on Earth, which would help protect it from radiation. While these reasons are similar to many other island nations, here are some which are specific to Tonga.

  1. There is a low likelihood of an attack. Tonga is not involved in any major conflicts and does not have any enemies that would be likely to launch a nuclear attack. Additionally, Tonga has signed treaties committing them to peaceful resolutions of disputes and renouncing the use of force.
  2. The damage from a nuclear attack would be limited. Even if Tonga was attacked by a nuclear weapon, the damage would be relatively limited due to its small size and lack of population density. There wouldn’t be many targets for a bomber or missile, and most people could find shelter quickly enough to avoid serious injury or death.
  3. The country has a good chance of recovering from an attack. Given Tonga’s small size and limited infrastructure, it would probably take less time and effort to rebuild after a nuclear attack than it would for larger countries with more complex systems.

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14. South Korea

South Korea is often cited as one of the top countries to live in. But can be it safe enough during a nuclear warfare? After all, it shares a border with an extremely hostile neighbor, North Korea, who is known for its nuclear threats.

Let’s have a look at what South Korea has to offer in terms of nuclear safety.

  1. Strong economy: South Korea has the 10th largest economy in the world, and is projected to be the 7th largest by 2030. It’s also home to some of the most successful companies in the world, including Samsung, Hyundai, and LG.
  2. Robust military: South Korea has one of the strongest militaries in Asia, with over 630,000 active personnel. The country also spends a significant amount on defense – nearly $50 billion per year.
  3. Proximity to North Korea: Strangely enough, this can actually make South Korea a safe country. Unless North Korea wishes to destroy itself as well, they will hesitate to detonate a nuclear bomb only a few dozen kilometers from their own border.

15. Nepal

Nepal is often considered as one of the most protected Asian countries. This might be unexpected, given its location between two giant nuclear powers, India and China. But just like in the case of South Korea/North Korea, none of Nepal’s neighbors would want to drop a bomb on their own doorstep.

Besides its geographical advantages, Nepal is also home to some of the world’s tallest mountains, which would provide natural protection from any radiation or fallout. You can say it’s perfectly isolated, like an island nation, even though it’s completely land-locked.

The country is also largely rural, with a small population density, meaning there would be less chance of widespread contamination.

16. Bhutan

If you’re looking for a safe place to ride out a nuclear war, Bhutan just might be the perfect choice. Like Nepal, this Himalayan kingdom is nestled between India and China, two of the world’s most populous countries and two of the world’s nuclear powers. But Bhutan has its own unique history and culture, and it’s been able to stay largely isolated from the rest of the world.

In fact, Bhutan only started allowing tourists in 1974, and even now tourism is tightly regulated. That means there are few foreigners in Bhutan, which could make it easier to blend in if things get hairy. And with almost 70% of the country covered in forested mountains, Bhutan offers plenty of places to hide out.

Of course, no place is completely safe from a nuclear attack. But as far as potential targets go, Bhutan is about as low on the list as you can get. So if you’re looking for a place to hunker down during World War III, this remote kingdom might just be your best bet.

17. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of India. The country has a long history dating back over 2,000 years and is home to a rich culture and diverse landscape. Sri Lanka is a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and ancient ruins.

So why is Sri Lanka so safe? For starters, the island nation is far from any potential targets for a nuclear attack. Additionally, Sri Lanka has a small population (just over 20 million) and limited infrastructure, which would make it difficult for an attacker to cause widespread damage. Finally, the government has strict controls on access to weapons and explosives, making it unlikely that terrorists or other groups could get their hands on nuclear materials.

18. Japan

There are a lot of reasons why Japan is often cited as one of the top candidates for the safest country during a nuclear conflict, despite its past. For starters, Japan is one of the few countries in the world with a no-first-use policy when it comes to nuclear weapons. This means that Japan would only use nuclear weapons if another country attacked them first with nuclear weapons.

In addition, Japan has a very strong anti-nuclear proliferation stance. They are members of both the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. And, they have signed and ratified both treaties.

Finally, Japan has a very robust civil defense system. In fact, they even have an annual National Disaster Prevention Day where people all over the country practice evacuation drills and learn about what to do in case of various disasters, including nuclear attacks. Here is a news story about this important day:

19. Philippines

A new report, released by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), ranks the Philippines as the 20th safest country in the world out of more than 180 nations assessed.

According to NTI, the Philippines has made significant progress in reducing its nuclear risks since signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968. The country has also ratified several international treaties and conventions related to nuclear safety and security, including the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

“The Philippines has taken important steps to reduce its vulnerability to nuclear threats,” said NTI President Joan Rohlfing. “By ratifying key international treaties and conventions, investing in physical protection measures for nuclear facilities, and establishing a national interagency task force on radiological emergency preparedness and response, Manila is demonstrating its commitment to keeping its citizens safe from nuclear dangers.”

However, in addition to being one of the safest countries during a possible nuclear warfare, the Philippines is also one of the most disaster-prone countries in Asia. The country experiences an average of 20 typhoons each year, making it vulnerable to storms and flooding. It is also located within what is known as “the Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area prone to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which could magnify the effects of a nuclear blast. Despite these hazards, NTI’s report found that Philippine authorities have made considerable progress in improving disaster preparedness and response plans in recent years.

20. Antarctica

As you have seen by now, when it comes to the question of which country is the safest in case of a nuclear war, there are many different factors to consider. One important factor is the location of the country. Countries located far away from major population centers are often considered to be safer, as they are less likely to be targeted in a nuclear attack. Another important factor is the size of the country. Smaller countries are often considered to be safer, as they are less likely to be involved in a nuclear exchange.

One territory that meets both of these criteria is Antarctica. Antarctica is located at the southernmost point on Earth, and is thus very far away from any major population centers. Additionally, Antarctica is a very large continent, and would therefore be difficult for an attacker to target with a limited number of nuclear weapons. Finally, Antarctica has no permanent inhabitants, and so there would be no one living there who could be harmed by a nuclear attack.

Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks to using Antarctica as a safe haven. The most significant drawback is that Antarctica is extremely cold and inhospitable, and so it would not be possible for people to live there permanently without special equipment and training. Additionally, Antarctica is the farthest location from anywhere else in the world, and it would be extremely challenging to reach it in a limited period of time.

Further Reading

So there you have it, the top 20 candidates for the safest country in case of nuclear war. Naturally, additional countries can be safe as well, either thanks to their geographical isolation, or thanks to their peaceful politics and the ability to rebuild. Whichever country you choose, always remember to stay safe and alert, and head for the nearest bomb shelter at the first sign of trouble.

There are a few more bits of knowledge that you should have in order to survive the worst. First, I must insist that you read my article about how to survive in the wilderness with nothing. It teaches how to survive in any hostile environment, even if you don’t have the right equipment.

Additionally, please check out my complete guide to SHTF planning. You need to be prepared long before any disaster strikes. This guide explains, step by step, how to assess danger, how to execute your plan, how to stockpile supplies and prepare a shelter, and more.

And finally, take a look at my list of every safest place during martial law. If your freedom is important to you, this article will show you how it can be preserved, even if your country is under the martial law. The article also lists the best places to hide your survival supplies.

Stay safe out there, my friends!

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