The Best Places to Live in the Event of Nuclear War


When it comes to global disasters, one of the most terrifying is the possibility of nuclear war. The destruction that a single atomic bomb can bring is unparalleled, and the thought of an all-out nuclear war is enough to send anyone running for cover.

Though we live in a relatively peaceful time in history, the threat remains that a madman or a government could start a global holocaust. The United States and the Former Soviet Union, as well as other industrialized nations, have amassed nuclear weapons that are sufficient to obliterate life on Earth.

Also, the atomic landscape has now begun to shift. North Korea shows off its nuclear arsenal. Tensions remain high between Russia and NATO. The volatility between India and Pakistan continues. The United Nations itself warns that the world is facing a war unlike any in our lifetimes.

So, where’s the safest place on Earth if nuclear war breaks out?

When it comes to the question of what country is the safest in times of nuclear war, there are many factors to consider: the location, population, and size of the country. Countries located away from major population centers are often considered to be safe since they will be less likely to be targeted by an attack. The size of the country also plays a role; as smaller countries are less likely to be involved in a nuclear exchange.


Penguins in Antarctica

According to computer modeling of atomic annihilation, Antarctica is the safest place to live. Not only is this continent miles from anywhere, but it’s also the site wherein the detonation of nuclear weapons is banned – thanks to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. This frozen landscape is only dedicated to peaceful research. Plus, it’s a very large continent, so it would therefore be difficult for any attacker to target the place with a limited number of nuclear weapons.

Though it’s the best place to avoid bombs and wars, it’s a terrible place to live in. There’s a reason why there are no countries and states in the polar region – the place is extremely cold and inhospitable. It’s not possible for humans to live there permanently without using special equipment or undergoing training. Also, you’ll need to pack a lot of supplies because there are no stores anywhere.

Lastly, because it’s the farthest location from anywhere else in the world, it would be challenging to reach it in a limited period of time.


Since Antarctica is not really a viable option, perhaps you may consider Iceland. This Nordic country is one of the safest in the world because it’s isolated from the rest of the world by the North Atlantic Ocean. It would be difficult for a nuclear missile to reach Iceland without it being detected first.

Iceland doesn’t even have a standing army or other military force, which means there would be none to target. It’s a small and sparsely populated nation detached from major international politics. And as well as physical contact with other countries.

In addition, Iceland makes all of its electricity from geothermal sources, so even if the entire electrical grid went down, the country would still have power due to its natural hot springs. When it comes to climate, Iceland is not as cold and extreme compared to Antarctica. The country is not all covered by ice and snow, as its name would suggest. Though its winters are surely cold, Iceland experiences higher average temperatures than other places on a similar latitude.

Iceland’s physical isolation, neutral government, lack of military, geothermal energy, and climate make it safe from nuclear issues.


The world’s largest island, Greenland, is located in the Arctic Ocean between Iceland and Canada. It’s an autonomous Danish territory with a location that’s out of range of most nuclear targets. Even if a country did manage to launch a missile at Greenland, the majority of the island is covered by an ice sheet, so there would likely be little damage done.

Besides its isolated location, Greenland also has very few military targets. Greenland has no major cities or industrial facilities, making it a less likely target for a nuke attack.


Canada is one of the safest places that would survive a nuclear war. Though it’s close to the United States (which is full of potential targets of a nuclear attack), Canada has a large landmass, and its population is spread out over a wide area. Because of that, it’s less likely that a single nuclear strike would wipe out the entire nation. Many parts of Canada are remote and sparsely populated.

The North American country also has a strong military alliance with the United States through NORAD, so if one country were to be attacked by a nuclear weapon, the other would most likely come to its aid. In fact, the two countries usually coordinate their military exercises.

Canada has also dealt with nuclear accidents, but the quick action of its authorities and military forces prevented casualties and long-term health effects. Canada has a well-functioning government that can most likely handle a nuclear crisis well.


Like Canada, Australia is a vast chunk of land with few major population centers. It would be hard for an enemy to target all of Australia in a nuclear attack; even if they did, the sparse population would mean few casualties.

Australia has a strong military alliance with the United States, which offers them additional protection in the event of a nuclear war. The US has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons, and it’s unlikely any enemy would risk attacking Australia when they would surely be facing a formidable opponent afterward.

The safest place to go and settle in Australia in the event of a nuclear attack in Perth. The seats of the government, the major cities, and the political players are on the eastern coast of Australia, so they are more likely to suffer compared to the western side, where Perth can be found. It is a place away from anything else.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a lovely, idyllic, agricultural country that feels like a small town anywhere you go. Bearing no nuclear arms with almost no military and lots of space to spread out, it’s a fantastic place to go in case of an attack.

New Zealand is unlikely to be a target or a casualty in a large-scale nuclear conflict. Countries in the Southern Hemisphere, like New Zealand, are believed to be safer in the event of nuclear war because the powers of world’s nuclear are concentrated in the North.

A great bonus is that New Zealand has a warm, enjoyable, temperate climate so that you can spend your end days in comfort.

Easter Islands

If you want a shelter away from the nuclear bomb drops and a place you may consider rebuilding a life, then Easter Islands would be a solid choice. Located in the South Pacific, more than 2,000 miles from South Africa, Easter Island is so remote that it would be one of the last places to fall victim to a nuclear attack.

Easter Islands is also where the ancient Polynesian head statues are located. Ancient Polynesians carved these massive, mysterious statues and cut down all the trees on the island to move these giant stone figures. However, because of deforestation, you will need to cultivate the land to sustain yourself in your new post-apocalypse life.

Kiribati and Marshall Islands

Majuro atoll and Majuro town in Marshall islands

If the barren landscape of Easter Island sounds too depressing, the archipelagos of Kiribati or the Marshall Islands would be more attractive. These sunny yet remote island chains come with beautiful tropical beaches and are surrounded by the ocean.

Though islands were once home to many historical nuclear weapons testing, it’s a bit poignant that sites like these that were previously peppered with fallouts could be the safest places in the world during a nuclear apocalypse.  

South Africa

Though Apartheid may have caused other nations to stir against South Africa, this country doesn’t have many international political problems. In fact, it is the only country who have built and destroyed its own nuclear collection. It has a solid infrastructure from the English occupation, and it doesn’t pose a threat to anyone.

Also, English is commonly spoken here, and people are very welcoming. It would be easier to adjust to South Africa compared to other countries.


A study found that more than five billion people would die of hunger worldwide if there were a full-blast war involving 100 nuclear bombs. Scientists suggested fleeing to Argentina to get the highest chance of survival.

This South American country is full of its own issues that the rest of the world doesn’t even care enough to exploit, making it a place less likely to be targeted by nuclear weapons.

French Polynesia

With more than 400 islands, French Polynesia is too scattered to warrant a nuke attack, and the water would sink nuclear fallout before it drifts in on trade winds.

French Polynesia is a pretty and sustainable place with more than 400 islands. They are too scattered and far from the shore that the water would sink nuclear fallout before it drifts in on the trade winds.

Also, the shores would be beautiful and sustainable because it’s filled with islands.


Instead of traveling to far places to get away from the nuclear war, you can also save yourself by living in the mile-high city. Though the nearby Cheyenne Mountain is a major target, Denver is not – thanks to the NORAD installation. Being close to NORAD is somehow helpful because the government made a lot of effort to protect these places from attacks. Being up where the air is thin reduces the ability of fallout to travel. Plus, being close to a target will allow Denver to remain forgotten. 

Tristan da Cunha

Tristan da Cunha is the world’s most remote inhabited island, around 1,700 miles from the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, its nearest neighbor. It’s a great place to escape from the threat of nuclear annihilation. Today, the population living in Tristan da Cunha is mostly self-sufficient, making a living out of octopus and crayfish fishing. The distance means you’ll be safe from blasts, and the location means you have access to sustenance.


Maldives is well-known as an island destination, as this remote tropical paradise is full of picture-perfect beaches. The bonus is that it’s also one of the best locations on Earth in case of an apocalyptic event! This small island nation is in the middle of the Indian Ocean, far away from any potential targets.

Besides its beauty, what makes it an even more appealing haven in case of a nuclear attack is its political stability. Unlike most countries in the world, there has never been a civil war or a military coup in the history of Maldives. This makes it one of the most peaceful countries on Earth.


In Europe, one of the safest countries to come for refuge in the event of a nuclear war in Norway. It’s one of the most peaceful countries in the world and is a member of NATO, which means it has close ties to the United States. This relationship helps ensure that Norway would have access to military support in case it is nuked.

Plus, the happening of Norway being attacked is highly unlikely. Its geographical isolation from other countries makes it less likely to be caught up in a regional conflict that could lead to nuclear war.


Sweden is known for its strong policy of neutrality and non-alignment so that it would be relatively safe from any military attacks. That also makes the county less likely to be involved in a nuclear conflict.

But besides that, Sweden also has a well-developed civil defense system. Their government even has a stockpile of food and supplies and underground shelters where people can take refuge.

Sweden’s large landmass and low population density mean there wouldn’t be fewer targets for missiles. Plus, the economy in Sweden is strong, and it has a well-developed infrastructure.



If you’re one of the wealthiest people on Earth, then you can build your own nuclear fallout bunker underground near your home. Like in the days of the Cuban missile crisis, digging a deep hole and filling it with concrete is likely the best way to ensure you can be safe.

However, living underground can be risky, and it would take a long time to be able to dig deep enough to avoid the effects of radiation. There’s also a risk of getting your food supplies and groundwater contaminated.

Another issue with digging down is that if you live in a high-risk area, you’d still be looking at a lifetime spent as a mole person, assuming you get down far enough to avoid radiation.

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