Iceland Ranked World’s Most Peaceful Nation, Somalia Worst; U.S. Improves to 82nd
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Peaceful Icelandic children
World peace has been on a downward trend in recent years, according to an annual gauge of domestic and foreign conflict.
The 2011 edition of the Global Peace Index, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, concludes that the levels of world peace have dropped three years in a row. This year is shaping up to be another bad one in part because of the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.
But there are bright spots regardless of the overall global outlook. Iceland passed New Zealand to become “the country most at peace.” Other nations ranked high on the peace scale were Japan, Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, Finland, Canada, Norway and Slovenia.
At the other end of the scale were the least peaceful nations, with Somalia at the very bottom. Others close to the war-torn African country were Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia, Pakistan, Israel and the Central African Republic.
The United States placed 82nd in the ranking, behind Gabon and just ahead of Bangladesh. According to the Institute, “If the U.S. moderately reduced its violence to the same levels as Canada its economy would realise savings and additional economic activity of approximately US$360 billion. By reducing violent crime, incarceration and homicide, U.S. governments could save billions by lowering expenditure in correctional services, healthcare and preventing lost taxation revenue, while the general economy would save billions through preventing productivity losses that occur due to lost work days from violent crime and homicide.”
Fact Sheet Global Peace Index (Institute for Economics & Peace) (pdf)
2011 Methodology, Results & Findings (Institute for Economics & Peace) (pdf)
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