Now in its 13th year, the Global Peace Index (GPI) ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Overall, the report has revealed that the world is now more peaceful than it has ever been in the last 5 years, with an improved score of 0.09 per average country.
Iceland, often portrayed as an idyllic Nordic paradise, came first in the rankings for the 12th year in a row. A high number of civilians in Iceland own guns but crime is the lowest due to strict regulations in purchasing one. According to website Guide to Iceland, there is a murder rate of 0-1.5 every year. There is also no ‘class system’.
The GPI measures the level of societal safety and security; the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict; and the degree of militarisation.
The second most peaceful country was revealed to be New Zealand – a position it has held for the last two years.
“New Zealand maintained or improved its scores in 22 out of 23 indicators, but deteriorated in the impact of terrorism because of the 15 March 2019 white-nationalist terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed,” said the GPI.
“Improvements in five other indicators across all three domains helped New Zealand maintain its rank as the second most peaceful country in the world,” read the report.
Australia’s score also fell slightly, as researchers said the country had increased its military expenditure and weapons imports. The country is ranked 13 on the list.
Global Peace Index most peaceful countries
2. New Zealand
10. Czech Republic
According to this year’s report, Afghanistan has overtaken Syria to covet the title of the world’s ‘least peaceful country’ following ISIS’ loss of its last remaining territory in Syria earlier this year.
The Middle East and North Africa remains the world’s least peaceful region, with no country from the region breaking into the top 30.
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