Icelanders are among the most pessimistic people on the planet on the subject of world peace, while Africans are among the most optimistic and growing more so.
Gallup has, for decades, measured the general national outlook of different countries on the coming year in terms of increasing or decreasing world peace. RÚV reports that on a global scale, most people believe this year will be much the same as the previous one. 20% believe 2012 will be more tumultuous than 2011, while only 10% believe this year will be more peaceful than the one previous.
Icelanders have not, for the most part, been optimistic about increasing world peace. In fact, Icelanders have been among the top 20 most pessimistic people in the world on the subject since the 21st century began.
Optimism among Icelanders was in the strongest majority in the 80s. In the 90s, optimism and pessimism among Icelanders would ebb and flow, but optimists were often in the majority. However, the turn of the 21st century saw pessimism take the upper hand, with Icelanders at their most pessimistic about world peace in 2002, when the War On Terror began.
By contrast, Africans are the most optimistic in the world, with two-thirds believing this year will be more peaceful than the one previous. Western Europeans are the most pessimistic on this subject, with North Africans following close behind.