Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Wednesday, June 12 2019 - 14:00
Global Peace Index: Global Peacefulness Improves for the First Time in Five Years But World Remains Less Peaceful Than a Decade Ago
LONDON, June 12, 2019 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/--

Key Results

 - Ukraine registered the largest improvement this year; Nicaragua the largest
 - More countries decreased their militarisation, 106 countries, than 
   increased it, continuing a decade long trend. 
 - Since 2008 global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78 per cent, with 81 
   countries deteriorating and 81 improving, highlighting that deteriorations
   in peacefulness are generally larger than improvements.

Climate Change Highlights

 - More than 400 million people live in areas with low levels of peacefulness 
   and high risk from climate change. 
 - Eight of the 25 least peaceful countries have 103 million at risk in high 
   climate hazard areas. 
 - Regionally, sub-Saharan Africa has the weakest coping capacity for climate 
   hazards, which could exacerbate violent conflicts.

GDP/Economic Cost of Violence Highlights

 - The economic impact of violence on the global economy has decreased for the 
   first time since 2012, amounting to $14.1 trillion in 2018, or 11.2 per 
   cent or $1,853 for every person. 
 - Countries with very high levels of peace, on average, achieved over three 
   times higher per capita GDP growth compared to the least peaceful countries 
   for the last 60 years. 
 - In the ten countries most affected by violence, the average economic cost 
   of violence was equivalent to 35 per cent of GDP, compared to just 3.3 per 
   cent in the countries least affected by violence.

The 13th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) 
(, the world's leading measure of global 
peacefulness, reveals that the average level of global peacefulness improved 
for the first time in five years. However, despite improvement, the world 
remains considerably less peaceful now than a decade ago, with the average 
level of peacefulness deteriorating by nearly 4 per cent since 2008. This 
year's report includes new research on the possible effects of climate change 
on peace. 

Eighty-six countries improved their score in the 2019 report, whilst 76 
deteriorated. Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a 
position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New 
Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Bhutan has recorded the largest 
improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 

Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, 
which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq comprise 
the remaining five least peaceful countries. This is the first year since the 
inception of the index that Yemen has been ranked amongst the five least 
peaceful countries.

Produced by the international think-tank the Institute for Economics & Peace 
(IEP)(, the GPI report presents the most 
comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on peace, its economic value, 
trends, and how to develop peaceful societies. The report covers 99.7 per cent 
of the world's population and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators 
from highly respected sources to compile the index. These indicators are 
grouped into three key domains: Ongoing Conflict, Safety and Security, and 

Steve Killelea 
(, Founder 
and Executive Chairman of the IEP, said: "Although peace has improved in the 
2019 GPI, a deeper analysis finds a mixture of positive and negative trends. 
Whilst the conflicts that have dominated the past decade, such as in Iraq and 
Syria, have begun to abate, new conflicts have emerged in Yemen, Nicaragua and 
Turkey, resulting in the bottom ten countries in the index declining by more 
than the global average – increasing the global inequality in peace."

Four of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year. 
The largest increase in peacefulness occurred in the Russia and Eurasia region, 
followed by the Middle East and North Africa. In both regions, the number of 
deaths from conflict declined in Ukraine and Syria respectively. The fall in 
conflict deaths has been mirrored by a fall in deaths from terrorism.

Two of the three GPI domains deteriorated over the past decade, with Ongoing 
Conflict deteriorating by 8.7 per cent and Safety and Security deteriorating by 
4 per cent. However, contrary to public perception, the Militarisation domain 
has recorded a 2.6 per cent improvement since 2008. The number of armed 
services personnel per 100,000 people has fallen in 117 countries, and military 
expenditure as a percentage of GDP fell in 98 countries, with only 63 countries 
increasing their spending.

Steve Killelea said: "Many of the trends recorded over the last decade 
highlight the complexity of global peace. Clearly it is good news that state 
sponsored terror has declined markedly over the last decade, with 62 countries 
improving their scores while only 42 deteriorated. However, incarceration shows 
the opposite trend with 95 countries inceasing the incarceration rate compared 
to 65 that improved. The US has reduced its incarceration rate by 11 per cent 
over the last decade, however it still has the second highest incarceration 
rate in the world." 

The report also analyses the security risks posed by climate change. Analsysis 
in the report finds that an estimated 971 million people live in areas with 
high or very high exposure to climate hazards, with 400 million of these people 
living in countries with low levels of peace. Ten per cent of these people, or 
103.7 million, are living in areas of countries ranked in the bottom 25 
countries on the GPI: South Sudan, Iraq, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the 
Congo, Sudan, North Korea, Nigeria and Mexico.

The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2018 decreased for the 
first time since 2012, decreasing by 3.3 per cent, to $14.1 trillion. This 
figure is equivalent to 11.2 per cent of the world's economic activity or 
$1,853 per person. The largest improvement was in armed conflict, owing to a 
fall in the intensity of conflict in Syria, Colombia and Ukraine. There was 
also a substantial reduction in the economic impact of terrorism, which fell by 
48 per cent from 2017 to 2018. For the ten countries most affected by violence, 
the average impact was equivalent to 35 per cent of their GDP, compared to just 
3.3 per cent in the world's most peaceful countries. Syria suffered the worst 
at 67 per cent.

Regional overview: 

 - Peacefulness in Asia-Pacific improved in all three GPI domains last year,
   largely due to increases in UN peacekeeping funding and reductions in  
   violent demonstrations and deaths from internal conflict. However, the
   impact of terrorism continued to worsen, as did internal conflicts fought 
   and external conflicts fought. China climbed two places to 110th, ahead of
   Algeria at 111th and behind Djibouti at 109th. 
 - Central America and the Caribbean deteriorated in all three domains last 
   year. Seven countries improved while five deteriorated, but as is typical 
   of breakdowns in peacefulness, the deteriorations were larger than the 
 - Europe, the world's most peaceful region, became slightly more peaceful in  
   2018 continuing its decade-long trend. Twenty-two of 36 countries in Europe
   improved. Europe continues to dominate the top of the index, accounting for 
   17 of the 25 most peaceful countries. 
 - Peace in the Middle East and North Africa, the world's least peaceful 
   region, improved marginally last year, based on improvements in 11 
   countries. Syria is no longer the world's least peaceful country, and
   recovery has started to materialise in Iraq. 
 - Peace in North America deteriorated last year, recording the second largest 
   regional deterioration. Canada showed a small improvement in overall score,
   but the deterioration in the United States was much larger and was dragged 
   down by increases in the homicide rate, violent crime and political 
   instability. While  Canada remains one of the ten most peaceful countries 
   in the world, the US fell four places to 128th – in between South Africa 
   and Saudi Arabia.  
 - While most of Russia and Eurasia remains less peaceful than the global 
   average, it was one of three regions to improve in every domain of the GPI 
   last year, resulting in the largest regional improvement. Russia fell by 
   one place to 154th, ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo at 155th and 
   behind Pakistan at 153rd. 
 - Only Colombia, Uruguay and Chile improved in South America last year, while 
   the rest of the region, another eight countries, deteriorated. Venezuela is 
   now the least peaceful country in South America, and Brazil recorded the 
   fifth largest fall globally. 
 - The average South Asian score improved last year due to improvements in 
   Nepal, Pakistan, and Bhutan. However, the region still has the second 
   lowest rank, just ahead of its neighbour MENA. 
 - In sub-Saharan Africa, 27 of the region's 44 countries deteriorated in 
   peacefulness, leading to a weakening in all three domains of the GPI, while 
   12 of the region's 23 indicators improved and eight deteriorated.

 For more information, visit:  


The full GPI report, articles and interactive maps are available at:

Twitter: (#GlobalPeace19)


About the Global Peace Index (GPI)

This is the 13th edition of the GPI: the world's leading measure of global 
peacefulness produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace 
(IEP)( It gauges on-going domestic and 
international conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of 
militarisation in 163 countries and territories by taking into account 23 

About the Institute for Economics and Peace

IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to shifting the 
world's focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human 
well-being and progress. It has offices in Sydney, Brussels, New York, The 
Hague, Mexico City and Harare.

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Source: Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP)