Can Americans live safely in Germany?

In this article

The United States of America is a dream location for many people, with mountains, wildernesses, national parks, deserts, and possible road trips, making it a prime location for tourists and residents. However, America as a state may not be as peaceful as one would expect.
The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) releases an annual assessment of the Global Peace Index. The index is based on several criteria, including internal conflicts, Nuclear capability, Social security, the impact of terrorism, Condition of peace, Number of violent deaths, and International relations. IEP rates 163 independent territories and states based on its peace criteria. Based on the 2021 ranking, the US was in the 122nd position.
Violence, gun crimes, mass shootings, police brutality, and environmental disasters such as earthquakes, snowstorms, and hurricanes toll the US peace rating. Safety in America is relative and depends on the area in question; overall, it ranks 122/163.
On the same measurement scale by the IEP, Germany ranked 17th in the Global Peace Index out of 163 entries in 2021. Germany ranks in 11th position among European countries out of 36 countries, making it a relatively safe country for its citizens and visitors. However, it does not mean that there are no cases of theft or unrest; it only means that the rate at which they occur is minimal.
Americans traveling to Germany should take extra care against bag snatchers and pickpockets to avoid being a victim of theft. Pickpockets and bag snatchers carry on their activities just like in other parts of the world. Essential security tips like not leaving your bag unattended or leaving valuables in your bag can help reduce the impact these activities have on Americans and other visitors to Germany. If you fall victim to any of these schemes, visit the nearest police station to report the incident.

Security in Germany

Germany is rated among the first 20 safest countries according to IEP and partly due to heavy security around its cities. Germany stations several security personnel around significant city attractions and transport ways to secure the environment. This security personnel usually have sniffer dogs to check luggage and coats for illegal substances.
Security personnel and their patrol dogs are usually in significant public places like museums, major transport facilities, and tourist attractions. To enter major historic sites, expect to spend some time in queues. To gain faster entrance into places, it is advised to travel light.
As American citizens in Germany, it is crucial to move around with your passport. For people who do not feel comfortable carrying their passports around, make a photocopy and always have it on you. If you are caught off-guard without your passport or a photocopy, you may face some sanctions in the form of fines; else, you may be escorted by the police to get it. You are only expected to carry an ID or passport if you are over 16 years old.

Reasons Americans May Choose to Live in Germany

Americans may live freely in their birth country; however, based on some reasons, they may decide to live in Germany temporarily or permanently. It is relatively easy for Americans to obtain a residence permit in Germany, giving them permission to work and live freely in Germany. Here are a few reasons Americans may decide to live in Germany:


Germany is relatively safe and has many security personnel deployed to many public spaces to avoid cases of gangster crimes. Sniffer dogs are also present with security personnel to reduce the instances of drug trafficking. Germany's security conditions as a state make it an excellent option for Americans to live in.
Although security is tight and taken seriously in Germany, there have been cases of terrorism in the past. Reports say that the leaders of the 9/11 attack were based in Germany. In 2016, the Berlin Christmas Market attack caused about 50 injuries and 12 deaths. However, these occurrences are being controlled by tight security within its borders.

Open borders

The Schengen zone is a collection of European countries that have open borders and allow citizens and residents in member states to travel freely and without additional requirements to other member states. Germany is a part of the 26 countries in the Schengen zone. It is a good reason Americans decide to live in Germany, as it gives them access to travel to other European countries.
Germany is centrally located and has an excellent transport system that connects it with other European countries. Germany shares borders with France, Poland, Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. Germany is adequately connected to these European countries through rail, road, and direct flights, allowing its citizens and visitors to travel seamlessly.


Germany has the largest economy in Europe and is ranked fourth globally. Its blossoming economy causes Americans to live in Germany. Germany has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world at 3.1%, thanks to several industries present within its borders. It is also home to many renowned world companies like BMW Group, Porsche, Mercedes, Volkswagen, DHL, and Siemens, among several others.

Living conditions

The living conditions experienced in Germany are top tier and one of the best in the world. According to a rating produced in 2019, Frankfurt and Munich rank among the top 10 cities with excellent living conditions. Meager crime rates, developed infrastructure, cultural attractions, and a clean environment makes living in Germany worthwhile. Americans can save a lot in Germany because earnings in Germany compare favorably against the expenses. This is the most prevalent reason Americans and other immigrants live in Germany.


Germany's healthcare is rated as one of the best in the world. German health practitioners offer outstanding medical services. You can enjoy top-tier healthcare services free of charge when you pay for insurance. Workers in the public sector are automatically signed up for health insurance, while workers in the private sector have to sort it out in percentages with their employers.
These reasons are responsible for Americans deciding to live in Germany. It is relatively safe and gives its citizens a high quality of living.

How Americans Can Live in Germany

Americans are entitled to a 90-day visa-free travel to Germany. A German resident's permit is needed to continue staying in Germany after these 90 days. The resident permit has different validity periods, after which American immigrants can renew it. Some permits do not expire, allowing you to stay as long as possible. Different permit types allow for varying degrees of freedom; however, most will enable you to work in Germany.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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