The most and least peaceful countries in the world, ranked

According to this year’s edition of an annual report from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Botswana, Kuwait, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Angola, and Burkina Faso all have one surprising thing in common: They are more peaceful than the US.

The Global Peace Index from the IEP compiles yearly rankings of peacefulness in 162 nations based on 23 different types of data.

The IEP attempts to answer a simple question: Is the world getting more or less peaceful?

While the most peaceful nations in the world are growing more peaceful, with some reaching historic highs, the least peaceful countries are descending further into chaos and war.

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 cost $13.6 trillion, which is approximately 13.3% of the world’s gross domestic product.

Here’s a look at the highlights of the report (and here’s the full report):

Europe holds a virtual monopoly on the world's most peaceful countries.

Eight of 11 countries ranked 'Very high' in peacefulness are in Europe.

Nations like Vietnam and Kosovo that were mired in ugly conflicts decades ago have bounced back and have become relatively peaceful.

The US ranked 113 out of 163 nations.

The report cited diplomatic progress with Cuba and the Iran deal as advancements in the US's peacefulness, while prolonged overseas conflicts and a feud with Russia hurt the score overall.

The least peaceful nations are almost all in Africa and the Middle East.

Outside of the Middle East and Africa only Russia, with it's illegal annexation of Crimea, support for separatists in Ukraine, and support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria makes the country have a 'Very low' category of peacefulness.

Again, Iceland tops the list as the most peaceful country on Earth.

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