(09 April 2014) – The 7th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) shows that the world has become less peaceful and that Europe is its most peaceful region.
The GPI is developed by IEP ranks 162 nations according to their ‘absence of violence’. It is composed of 22 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the percentage of prison population.
The 2013 GPI shows that the world has become 5% less peaceful since 2008, with a sharp rise in the number of homicides. Europe is the most peaceful region, with 13 of the top 20 most peaceful countries. War ravaged Afghanistan returns to the bottom of the index. Syria’s GPI score has fallen by 70% sine 2008 (the biggest ever score deterioration in the history of the GPI). The total economic impact of containing violence is estimated to be US$9.46 trillion in 2012.
The ten highest ranking nations in the GPI are: Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Canada, Sweden and Belgium.
According to IEP, Europe is comfortably the most peaceful region; few countries are involved in external conflict and most societies are broadly harmonious. Nevertheless, several European countries experienced less peaceful conditions amid challenging economic circumstances, including Spain, Greece, France and Portugal.