As the civil war in Iraq escalates, a new report from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) indicates that the world has been becoming more violent over the last seven years.
The IEP’s Global Peace Index is researched by an international panel of experts and complied with data collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The GPI ranks 162 countries, covering 99.6% of the world’s population.
The index is composed of 22 indicators, including a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries, as well as the percentage of the population held in prisons.
The report also includes an analysis of the economic impact of containing and dealing with the consequences of global violence. Last year violence containment was estimated to be $US9.5 trillion which is approximately 11% of the world’s gross domestic product.
Here are the key findings from the report (and here is the full report):
Syria Is The Least Peaceful Country
The bloody civil war in Syria propelled the nation into knocking Afghanistan from the top spot of least peaceful countries. Civil war proves to be a large indicator with countries holding least peaceful ranks. This is seen by the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, where civil war threatened to tear apart the three-year-old country. South Sudan has the largest drop on the index (dropped 16 spots) and ranks as the third least peaceful country.
A notch below South Sudan is Iraq, without factoring in this month’s latest violent spree from ISIS, and its coalition of Sunni militant groups.
Iceland Is Still The Most Peaceful Country
The top five most peaceful nations remain unchanged from 2013. The most peaceful countries are led by Iceland, which once again ranked as the most peaceful country in the world, despite a mild deterioration in the overall score due to a slight increase in military spending.
Europe Is Still The Most Peaceful Region
Alongside Iceland, Europe is considered to be the most peaceful region with 14 of the top 20 most peaceful nations. In particular, the Scandinavian countries perform consistently well in all of Europe.
More Nations Are Drifting Away From Peace
Following the end of WWII, there was a 60-year trend towards increasingly global peacefulness. However since 2008, 111 countries have deteriorated in levels of peace. Only 51 countries have increased or maintained their rank on the index.
10 Nations Identified With Largest Risk
Using new statistical modelling techniques, the IEP identified the following 10 countries with the largest threat of violence and civil unrest. Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia, and Qatar.