World’s Most Peaceful Countries

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The 2014 Global Peace Index, compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace, provides a ranking of over 160 countries according to their peacefulness.

The index includes 22 country-specific indicators such as dealing with external or internal conflicts, organized crime, refugees, political instability, terrorism, homicides, incarceration levels, police and military personnel levels, and the prevalence of weapons.

The main findings of the index are that: peace is correlated to indicators such as income, schooling, and regional integration; peaceful countries often share high levels of government transparency and low government corruption; and small, stable countries involved in regional blocs are most likely to rank higher.

The report backs up its methodology, stating: “Using a combination of models, it was possible to forecast deteriorations in peace based on 2008 data for 27 out of 30 countries where peace had deteriorated by 2014. The model was also able to identify, on average, 70% of the countries which experienced the ten largest deteriorations in peace using a two-year window since 2006.”

According to the report, overall global peacefulness has been on a constant decline since 2008. Europe, again, ranks as the most peaceful region, with 14 of the top 20 countries, while the United States doesn’t even make the top 100, sitting at 101st.

Global violence has significant monetary costs. The global economic impact of violence, according to the report, reached US$9.8 trillion in 2013—twice the value of Africa’s total GDP or 11.3% of global GDP.

The overall rankings may or may not come as a surprise to some. Here is a snippet of the findings:

1. Iceland
2. Denmark
3. New Zealand
4. Austria
5. Switzerland
6. Finland
7. Canada
8. Japan
9. Belgium
10. Norway
11. Czech Republic
11. Sweden
13. Ireland
14. Slovenia
15. Australia
26. Croatia
26. Spain
29. Uruguay
30. Chile
33. Malaysia
34. Italy
38. Laos
43. Argentina
45. Vietnam
47. United Kingdom
48. France
54. Indonesia
57. Panama
58. Nicaragua
75. Cuba
80. Saudi Arabia
85. Ecuador
95. Dominican Republic
101. United States of America
108. China
115. Guatemala
116. El Salvador
126. Thailand
128. Turkey
134. Philippines
138. Mexico
150. Colombia
152. Russia
153. North Korea
159. Iraq
160. South Sudan
161.Afghanistan
162.Syria

Source: 2014 Global Peace Index 

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