The Global Peace Index (GPI) has put Iceland at the top of the list of the world’s most peaceful countries.
According to a press release from Institute for Economics and Peace, they explain that “two key factors in Iceland’s increasing peacefulness were a decrease in the likelihood of violent demonstrations and a reduction in military capability/sophistication. Iceland ranks 1st out of 18 in the region.” Just behind Iceland were Denmark, Austria and Finland.
Overall, the world is not getting more peaceful, though. “Levels of world peace dropped for the third consecutive year according to the Index,” the organisers say. “An increased risk of terrorism and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa drove dramatic changes in national rankings.”
The 2011 Index dramatically reflects the impact on national rankings of the Arab Spring. Libya (143) saw the most significant drop – falling 83 places; Bahrain (123) dropped by 51 places – the second largest margin; while Egypt (73) dropped 24 places. Unrest caused by economic instability also led to falls in levels of peacefulness in Greece (65), Italy (45), Spain (28), Portugal (17) and Ireland (11).
“The fall in this year’s Index is strongly tied to conflict between citizens and their governments; nations need to look at new ways of creating stability other than through military force,” said Steve Killelea, founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP. “Despite a decade-long war on terrorism, the potential for terrorist acts has increased this year offsetting small gains made in prior years”.
The full data can be found here.