The Index found that the world has become slightly more peaceful this year, for the first time since 2009. Austerity-driven defence cuts and improvements in the political terror scale has caused the biggest overall change.
Most and Least Peaceful
The world’s most peaceful country is Iceland, followed by Denmark and New Zealand. Small and stable democracies dominate the top ten most peaceful countries. At the other end of the scale, Somalia is the least peaceful country, with Afghanistan and Sudan following closely.
Biggest movers on this year’s index saw Sri Lanka move over thirty places due to the end of the civil war, while Syria tumbled by the largest margin, from 116 to 147th.
For the first time in the history of the GPI, Sub-Saharan Africa is no longer the least peaceful region; this title now belongs to the Middle East and North Africa, reflecting the upheaval and instability caused by the Arab Spring. For the sixth year in a row, Western Europe is the most peaceful region.
If the world had been completely peaceful over the last year, the economic benefit would have been an estimated U.S. $9 Trillion.
The 2012 GPI was launched with a new interactive map. The map enables users to explore peace over time, compare up to three countries side by side and to visualise the socio-economic indicators associated with peace.
See the Global Peace Index maps for more information