We are living in the most peaceful century in human history; however the 2014 Global Peace Index shows that the last seven years has shown a notable deterioration in levels of peace.
The Global Peace Index measures peace in 162 countries according to 22 indicators that gauge the absence of violence or the fear of violence. This is the 8th year the index has been produced.
Since 2008, 111 countries have deteriorated in levels of peace, while only 51 have increased.
Europe retains its position as the most peaceful region with 14 of the top 20 most peaceful countries.
The world has become less peaceful over the last year, mainly due to a rise in terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought and the number of refugees and displaced people.
500 million people live in countries at risk of instability and conflict, 200 million of whom live below the poverty line.
The Global Economic Impact of violence reached US$9.8 trillion last year, which is equal to 2 times the total GDP of Africa.
The most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand.
Georgia, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya all made the biggest improvements in peace since last year. A common characteristic in all these countries is the ongoing improvement in political stability in the wake of conflict.
Syria replaces Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful country. South Sudan experienced the largest fall on the Global Peace Index and dropping 16 places to rank 160th of 162 countries.
Quote from Steve Killelea
“Given the deteriorating global situation we cannot be complacent about the institutional bedrocks for peace: our research shows that peace is unlikely to flourish without deep foundations. This is a wakeup call to governments, development agencies, investors and the wider international community that building peace is the prerequisite for economic and social development.”
Trends in Peace
Trends in peace are shifting from hostility between states, to a rise in the number and intensity of internal conflicts.
Since 2008 only four of the Global Peace Index’s 22 indicators showed improvement, while 18 deteriorated.
Assessing Country Risk
This year the analysis includes findings from a new country risk analysis. The research has identified 10 countries likely to deteriorate in peace over the next two years are: Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia and Qatar.
Countries at risk span all regions and represent all government types except for full democracies. To find out more about countries at risk, download the Global Peace Index 2014 Report and skip to page 55.
The economic cost of violence to the global economy is equivalent to around US$1,350 per person, or twice the size of Africa’s economy.
To explore violence containment spending by country, download the Economic Impact of Violence Containment, a report that details the cost of violence in over 150 countries according to 13 different types of violence related spending.
The Global Peace Index ranks 162 countries covering 99.6% of the world’s population. The Index gauges global peace using three themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarisation. It ranks countries according to 22 indicators of peace. Read the Global Peace Index methodology article for a full list of indicators, scores, weighting and more.
Explore the Global Peace Index interactive map to see where the countries of the world rank according to their peacefulness. Download the 2014 Global Peace Index Report to read an analysis of the state of peace, as well as the countries most at risk of becoming less peaceful.