Once again Iceland has topped the Global Peace Index for 2020, a position it has held since 2011.
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) declared Iceland the world’s most peaceful country in it’s latest report. In the last thirteen years it has ranked first eleven times, only slipping to 2nd place in 2009 and 4th place in 2010 due to the impact of the financial crash.
Countries’ rankings are based on scores in 23 categories including participation in war, threat from terrorism, ecological risk, crime incidence and political stability.
The top ten most peaceful countries this year were:
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
Meanwhile Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen were declared the most dangerous countries in the world and the Middle East and North Africa remained the least peaceful regions.
The global level of peace fell by 0.34% in 2019, this is the ninth time in 12 years that global peacefulness has declined. The economic impact of violence worldwide last year was estimated to be equivalent to 10.6% of global GDP – $1,909 per capita.
Europe was found to be the most peaceful continent – 17 of the top 25 countries this year are European. However, the IEP notes increased levels of political and economic unrest across the continent, citing the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement in France, anti-corruption demonstrations in Romania and demonstrations over the Hungarian government’s new ‘slave law’. The IEP also highlighted the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which has “effectively put the Schengen agreement temporarily out of effect”.
The IEP also highlights growing levels of ecological threat across the world. According to the report the number of natural disasters has tripled in the last 40 decades and an estimated 2.26 billion people live in areas with high exposure to climate hazards. Levels of water stress, food insecurity and climate-change-related migration are set to soar in the coming years.
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