Human nature prioritizes safety and security above all. It is in our instinct to seek out the well-being of ourselves and our families. To this end, many look across borders to find the safest place to raise their children, be it to secure them from political or economic turbulence, crime, or the overall sense of unease. This search for a haven is particularly visible in the constant growth of expats resettling in Portugal.

In the past six years, the American expat community in Portugal has nearly doubled, and it is unsurprising given the divide in overall safety between the two countries.

The US, for whatever reason it may be, continues to be plagued with mass shootings, high crime rates in major cities, and a political divide on what the root cause of the problem is, be it gun control laws, police funding, growing inflation, or otherwise.

Across the pond, however, Portugal continues to flourish in a secure environment, hidden away from all the ruckus and unease, and Americans are quickly taking note.

Take school shootings as a prime, and vital, example. One's children are the most precious thing they have, so having to worry about a mass shooting in a school is a parent's worst nightmare. In the US a staggering 34 school shootings took place in 2021 alone, coming to a whopping total of 288 overall.

On the other hand, this is a phenomenon that Portugal has thankfully never had to deal with. In fact, it has become almost an exclusively American epidemic, one that is not seemingly coming to an end any time soon.

The US government has bills going through Congress trying to solve the issue; some argue that school police, a standard practice of an officer in each school should be present at all times, will fix it, while others require schools to equip screening and metal detector outfits at the school entrance. All of them dire measures to combat a dire situation.

Portugal, can safely allocate resources to bettering education, as the threat of school shootings is a distant thought in a nation that is bound by a robust police force, stringent gun control, and an overall safe environment.

But it isn't just school shootings, the overall crime rate in the US is at worrying levels. On the crime index, the US ranks 55th worldwide in terms of crime rate (number of crimes VS total population). This rate, while high on its own, skyrockets when you look at high-density areas such as New York, which witnessed a staggering 485 murders in 2021 on its own.

Portugal ranks 110 on the same index, highlighting the massive divide between the two nations in terms of safety and security. Not only that, but Lisbon, its most highly-populated area, ranks as the 31st safest city in the world.

This difference in overall safety has been a major driver for US citizens looking to reside elsewhere, as Portugal offers a safe abode for them and their families where they do not have to keep on worrying about mass shootings in schools, public transport, parks, or otherwise.

The EU's strong focus on creating a safe environment for its inhabitants can be perfectly highlighted in the streets of Lisbon, Porto, and the rest of the Portuguese cities, and Americans have taken note - and more importanly - are taking action.

To know more about life in Portugal, contact us today for a meeting with one of our local experts.