New Zealand was the country most at peace last year according to the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Canada ranks 14th on the index’s assessment of 149 countries, while the United States ranks 85th, roughly on par with Angola, and Iraq ranks last:
New Zealand is ranked as the country most at peace for the second consecutive year, followed by Iceland and Japan. Small, stable and democratic countries are consistently ranked highest; 15 of the top 20 countries are western or central European countries.
This is an increase from 14 last year, and reflects an improvement in Hungary’s score. Qatar and Australia remained in the top 20 – in 15th and 19th places respectively. All five Scandinavian countries are in the top ten of the GPI, although with the exception of Iceland, each experienced slight deteriorations in their scores and ranks. Island nations generally fare well, with the notable exception of Sri Lanka.
For the fourth year running, the country ranked least at peace is Iraq. Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan follow; countries that are in a state of ongoing conflict and upheaval.
The index is based on 23 qualitative and quantitative factors, ranging from a country’s level of military spending to its relations with neighbouring countries and respect for human rights. (Detailed description and analysis here.)