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:
- New Zealand
BOTTOM 10 – the least peaceful nations in the world:
- Somalia (#158)
- Afghanistan (#157)
- Sudan (#156)
- Iraq (#155)
- Dem. Republic of Congo (#154)
- Russia (#153)
- North Korea (#152)
- Central African Republic (#151)
- Israel (#150)
- 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.
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