The world is slightly less peaceful now than it was in 2008, according to the latest Global Peace Index. The research shows that overall peace has remained steady over the last year, however we can see a growing divide between the most and least peaceful countries.
Many countries in Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, have reached historically high levels of peace. In fact, 15 of the world’s 20 most peaceful countries are in Europe, including the most peaceful: Iceland. There are three main reasons behind this increase in Europe’s peace are: a reduction in the number of homicides, a decrease in the amount of military expenditure and the withdrawal of NATO-led forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.
In contrast, countries that have ranked at the bottom of the Index in recent years, including Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic all became increasingly more violent. Libya recorded the biggest deterioration in peace over the last year, falling to rank 149th of 162 countries. Ukraine, which suffered over 6,000 deaths from conflict and had over 1 million people displaced, recorded the second largest fall.
So if we go back to the question at hand we can see that the world has become slightly less peaceful, but more importantly, it is becoming increasingly divided.
Want to know about the state of peace around the world but only have a few minutes? The 2015 Global Peace Index video reveals how peaceful the world is, what has changed over time, where the most and least peaceful areas are.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.