In an increasingly turbulent world, conflict has become settled into our daily lives. Global uprising and internal violence have produced unsafe, unstable countries that lower the sense of global peace. Peace and safety have long been difficult to quantify. The Institute for Economics and Peace has tried to measure it with the Global Peace Index (GPI).
The GPI takes into consideration a number of variables, ranging from intentional homicide rate and level of violent crime, to financial contribution to United Nations peacekeeping missions and nuclear capabilities. This statistical analysis then provides a ranking of countries from most to least peaceful, and has been helpful when used in comparison to indicators not included in the mix, to demonstrate what drives countries to be peaceful.
The 2016 Global Peace Index records a historically less peaceful in the last year and more unequal world – the most peaceful countries continuing to improve while the least peaceful are falling into greater violence and conflict.
Europe was once again ranked the most peaceful region in the world. The largest improvement since last year occurred in Central America and the Caribbean, while South America also made progress in its levels of peacefulness. MENA had the largest decline, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific respectively.
Europe accounts for six of the top seven places in the rankings with Iceland, Denmark and Austria remaining the highest-ranking countries. According to latest rankings, Portugal has climbed nine positions to hold fifth on the Index for this year and was also the country with the biggest improvements in Europe. However, the average score in Europe deteriorated, reflecting increases in the impact of terrorism as well as the escalation of violence and instability in Turkey and the country’s deteriorating relations with its neighbours.