Canada and New Zealand Among World’s Most Peaceful Nations

According to the 2012 Global Peace Index, the world at large is more peaceful than it has been since 2009.

The Global Peace Index is produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace and ranks 158 nations according to 23 indicators each weighted on a scale of 1 to 5. The indicators are both qualitative and quantitative and include criteria such as homicides, jailed population, weapons imports, terrorist acts, death from internal conflicts and death from external conflicts.

The most peaceful nation in the world is once again Iceland, while the least peaceful nation is Somalia.

TOP 10 – the most peaceful nations in the world:

  1. Iceland
  2. Denmark
  3. New Zealand
  4. Canada
  5. Japan
  6. Austria
  7. Ireland
  8. Slovenia
  9. Finland
  10. Switzerland

BOTTOM 10 – the least peaceful nations in the world:

  1. Somalia (#158)
  2. Afghanistan (#157)
  3. Sudan (#156)
  4. Iraq (#155)
  5. Dem. Republic of Congo (#154)
  6. Russia (#153)
  7. North Korea (#152)
  8. Central African Republic (#151)
  9. Israel (#150)
  10. Pakistan (#149)

A few of the most interesting findings:

  • With the exception of the Middle East and North Africa, each region experienced an improvement in overall peacefulness.
  • The biggest faller was Egypt, dropping 40 laces on the index, while Syria tumbled more than 30 places to 147th position.
  • The highest climber on the index was Sri Lanka, which climbed almost 30 places, probably due to the end of their civil war.
  • For the sixth year in a row, Western Europe remains the most peaceful region with most of its countries in the top 20.
  • The Middle East and North Africa have replaced Sub-Saharan Africa as the least peaceful region.
  • Latin America experienced a large overall gain, with 16 of its 23 countries improving their score.
  • South Africa is in a dismal position 127, largely due to internal criminality, including homicides and other violent crimes.
  • The UK faired rather well in 29th position, with military capability, perceived criminality and violent demonstrations responsible for lowering its peacefulness index.
  • Australia ranked 22nd, while New Zealand came out as one of the world’s most peaceful nations, in 3rd place.

If you feel like it’s time for a change of environment and would like to find out more about visas to Canada or New Zealand, visit or email 1st Contact Visas at

  • Andrew

    This is wrong. New Zealand is actually tied equal with Denmark for 2nd place with a GPI of 1.239

  • Andrew

    Love highlighting the so called super power who think they run the world , the USA is in position 88. No wonder the world is in such a state. Perhaps clean your own house before walking into others.