The world is less peaceful today than at any time in the last decade.
The 2018 Global Peace Index, released today, reveals a world in which the tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the last decade remain unresolved, resulting in a gradual, sustained fall in peacefulness.
The largest contributors to the deterioration in the last year were the escalations in both interstate and internal armed conflicts, a rise in political terror and reduced commitment to UN peacekeeping. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia are the least peaceful countries whilst Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark are the most peaceful countries.
Despite retaining its position as the most peaceful region in the world, Europe deteriorated for the third successive year. For the first time in the history of the index, a Western European country experienced one of the five largest deteriorations with Spain falling 10 places in the rankings to 30th, owing to internal political tensions and an increase in the impact of terrorism.
In the last decade, 61 per cent of the countries in Europe deteroriated, due to higher levels of political instability, increased impact from terrorism, and increased perceptions of criminality. No single Nordic country is more peaceful now than in 2008.
BY THE NUMBERS
$14.6TR: Total global economic impact of violence
1%: Refugees make up almost 1% of the total global population
264%: Increase in battle deaths over the last ten years
71: Number of countries that improved in levels of peace
60%: Percentage of countries that reduced military expenditure
2.38%: Average deterioration of peacefulness over ten years
0.27%: Percentage decline in levels of peacefulness in 2017
? View the index