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The World’s Most and Least Peaceful Countries

In mid-2016, the media is full of news of politics, civil wars, terrorism, refugees and asylum seekers, oh – and sport! But peace! What’s that? Peace does exist, actually in most countries of the world, but its not newsworthy, is it!? ‘No news is good news’, so only war, murder, violence in some degree is generally reported – observe the percentage of crime-related items in your news bulletins.

Actually, officially there are no international conflicts taking place at this time, and the Institute of Economics for Peace (IEP) rates the current situation worldwide as the most peaceful time that the world has experienced – ever, in all recorded history.

Surprised? It’s true; the conflicts that make news headlines today are all either civil – a misnomer if ever there was one – or terrorist-inspired, not between countries. (The situation in eastern Ukraine is classified as a civil war, but Ukraine and Russia are a long way down the list of ‘peaceful’ countries.)

The IEP has developed a comprehensive method for measuring the standard of safety when living in over 160 countries around the world, called the Global Peace Index (GPI), uncovering ‘…the relationships between business, peace and prosperity as well as promoting a better understanding of the cultural, economic and political factors that create peace’.

The GPI comprises 23 indicators of the existence of violence or fear of violence, rated on a scale of one, safest, to five – the most dangerous or least safe, enabling an assessment of just how peaceful a country is. Naturally the indicators concentrate heavily on crime, and how it effects the population in general, how safe the people feel in their everyday lives. These range from the level of violent crime – in particular the rate of homicides – the number of police and security officers apparently needed (or afforded), to the percentage of jailed population. Also assessed is the level of political stability, perceived level of corruption, military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, nuclear and heavy weapon capability, to relations with neighbouring countries among others.

In the list of the most peaceful 25 countries in the world, only seven are outside Europe, however, only Russia and Ukraine of European countries are in the 25 most unsafe, least peaceful countries; you will not be surprised at most of the other countries on that list. Interestingly, despite its relative isolation in the world, the USA is listed at 94, heavily weighted down by the level of internal violent crime – which has actually shown a steady improvement in recent years – and so doesn’t appear on either list.

most peaceful countries

The listed score is an average of the 23 assessment criteria, rated 1-5.

MOST PEACEFUL COUNTRIES

RankCountryRate
1Iceland1.148
2Denmark1.15
3Austria1.198
4New Zealand1.221
5Switzerland1.275
6Finland1.277
7Canada1.287
8Japan1.322
9Australia1.329
10Czech Republic1.341
11Portugal1.344
12Ireland1.354
13Sweden1.36
14Belgium1.368
15Slovenia1.378
16Germany1.379
17Norway1.393
18Bhutan1.416
19Poland1.43
20Netherlands1.432
21Spain1.451
22Hungary1.463
23Slovakia1.478
24Singapore1.49
25Mauritius1.503

LEAST PEACEFUL COUNTRIES

RankCountryRate
1Syria3.645
2Iraq3.444
3Afghanistan3.427
4South Sudan3.383
5Central African Republic3.332
6Somalia3.307
7Sudan3.295
8Democratic Rep of the Congo3.085
9Pakistan3.049
10North Korea2.977
11Russia2.954
12Nigeria2.91
13Ukraine2.845
14Libya2.819
15Israel2.781
16Yemen2.751
17Colombia2.72
18Lebanon2.623
19Mexico2.53
20India2.504
21Venezuela2.493
22Philippines2.462
23Chad2.429
24Rwanda2.42
25Iran2.409

Is The World’s Most and Least Peaceful Countries

  • Billy Ramsey

    Why is the United States not rated?

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