91% of Salvadorans Perceived a Safer Country in 2023: Iudop-UCA Survey

By Karla Ramos  |  Jan 12th, 2024
Downtown San SalvadorSan Salvador Downtown. Image by MITURElSalvador.

During 2023, El Salvador experienced significant security improvements, showcasing a notable reduction in crime rates such as homicides. These improvements, reflected in surveys, show the government’s committed efforts to create a safer environment for residents and visitors.

On January 10, 2024, the Iudop-UCA released a survey evaluating the year 2023, in which 91% of Salvadorans answered that they perceived a safer country in 2023.

91.5% of Salvadorans answered feeling secure in the recently concluded year, crediting this sense of safety to the public security strategy and policies enforced by the Bukele administration. 25.6% of Salvadorans feel very secure, and 65.9% secure.

The survey that evaluated the situation in the country during the past year was carried out from December 9 to 22 among 1,280 people nationwide; the study has a confidence level of 95%, according to the institution.

During the presentation of the survey results, Omar Serrano, vice-rector of Social Projection of the UCA, noted that what is most appreciated and valued by the population is what has to do with the government’s security policy, specifically the State of Exception.

“The security policy is the main achievement of this government and the pillar on which the majority social support rests. 80.5% of the population considers that 2023 was better than 2022,” expressed Serrano.

He also added that 91.3% of the population surveyed expressed that “we are better due to variables that have to do with public security policies.”

Delinquency in El Salvador in 2023

The survey’s additional outcome highlighting the nation’s enhanced security is that 91% of respondents perceived a reduction in delinquency in 2023. Meanwhile, 7% observed no change, and 2% indicated a worsening delinquency situation.

Of the 91 percent, 40.7% noted that the State of Exception was why delinquency was reduced; 24.7% responded that it was because of the actions taken by the government, and 20.9% said it was because gang members had been arrested.

The 7 percent that answered that delinquency in 2023 continued the same noted that extorsions and assaults continued and gang members were still in the territory.

Within the 2 percent, 65.4% observed an escalation in delinquency in 2023, attributing it to a rise in common crime.

Iudop-UCA Survey

According to those surveyed, Salvadorans recognize that crime and gangs no longer represent the country’s main problem, now placing the economic situation.

The improvements in security within El Salvador in recent years have significantly contributed to fostering a secure environment for culture and tourism. This positive shift augurs well for the nation’s cultural and tourism sectors, ensuring a more vibrant and appealing destination.