The 2017 Global Peace Index provides a comprehensive analysis of the world’s state of peace. Produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the index also seeks to identify methods to create more peaceful societies.
This year’s index, the 11th edition, has found that though the world became more peaceful in the last year, it has become significantly less peaceful over the past decade, deteriorating by 2.14%.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008, followed by New Zealand and Portugal, while Syria remains the least peaceful country due to the ongoing conflict there.
The GPI comprises 23 indicators grouped into three categories: ongoing domestic and international conflict; societal safety and security; and militarization. The team at the IEP measures each country according to these indicators, which include such measures as the number and duration of internal conflicts, the level of perceived criminality in society, and military expenditure as a percentage of GDP. The indicators are weighted, given points and tallied to create the comprehensive rank
Below are the 10 most peaceful and the 10 least peaceful countries in the world according to the index.
The 10 Most Peaceful Countries
The following are the 10 most peaceful countries in the world according to the GPI.
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
The 10 most peaceful countries are also among the top rankers in the Passport Index Global Passport Power Rank, with very high visa-free scores. Iceland has a visa-free score of 153, while New Zealand and Portugal have scores of 154 and 156 respectively. The highest visa-free score goes to Denmark with 157. It’s no surprise that the most peaceful countries in the world also have high visa-free scores, indicating excellent foreign relations and diplomacy. Below are the top 10 peaceful countries according to visa-free score.
- Denmark: 157
- Japan: 157
- Switzerland: 156
- Austria: 156
- Portugal: 156
- Ireland: 155
- Canada: 155
- New Zealand: 154
- Iceland: 153
- Czech Republic: 152
- Slovenia: 149
*Where two or more countries have the same visa-free score, they are ranked according to the proportion of visa-free to visa-on-arrival access.
The 10 Least Peaceful Countries
The following are the 10 least peaceful countries according to the GPI.
9. Central African Republic
4. South Sudan
The 10 least peaceful countries according to the index also rank near or at the bottom of the Passport Index Global Passport Power Rank. Again, this is not surprising, considering that the least peaceful countries are mired in conflict and lack positive foreign relations. Below, we rank them according to their visa-free scores.
10. Ukraine: 119
9. Central African Republic: 46
8. South Sudan: 39
7. Lybia: 37
6. Yemen: 36
5. Sudan: 35
4. Somalia: 32
3. Syria: 30
2. Iraq: 26
1. Afghanistan: 22
With it’s visa-free score of 22, Afghanistan actually ranks last in the Passport Power Rank. Interestingly, the three least peaceful countries in the world according to the GPI, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, are also among the countries with the lowest visa-free scores according to Passport Index. Only Pakistan is missing from GPI’s list.
See the full Global Peace Index and Global Passport Power Ranking for more insights.