Peace Index, The Global


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About the Global Peace Index

The Global Peace Index aims at making the data comparable over time in order to shed more light into the mechanisms that nurture and sustain peace and since 2007 has worked to quantify the peacefulness of countries and to identify potential drivers of peace. It was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian international technology entrepreneur and philanthropist, with the aim to contribute significantly to the public debate on peace and it is maintained by the Institute for Economics and Peace and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

This is the Global Peace Indices for the past few years, from 2007 to 2011. Check this space for the 2012 data. Please see the attached note for data on Israel.

Global Peace Index 2013

The 2013 Global Peace Index results follow the pattern of the decrease of peace levels since 2008 (by 5% since). Interstate conflicts and hostilities have fallen but there has been a surge of interstate conflicts. The results show that that 110 states have become less peaceful and that 48 have become more so. At the top of the rankings can be found Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand, Austria, and Switzerland while at the other end, we have Afghanistan(162nd), Somalia and Syria.

  • Syria stands as the most radically changed; its level of peacefulness has dropped by 70% since 2008.The levels of peace have drastically decreased in Côte d'Ivoire and in Burkina Faso.
  • Libya has moved up three places in the global rankings as the uncertainty of the revolution is receding. Chad also continues to witness improvements after the end of its civil war in 2010, and has moved up four places as a result.
  • The economic impact of containing violence cost $9.46 trillion in 2012, equivalent to 11% of global GDP.

Global Peace Index 2012

The 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI), launched on the 12th of June 2012, found that the world has become slightly more peaceful since 2009. The 2012 GPI measures peace in 158 countries according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators of peace. Key highlights from the 2012 GPI:

  • Iceland is the most peaceful country for the second successive year
  • Syria tumbles by the largest margin, dropping over 30 places to 147th position.
  • Somalia remains the world’s least peaceful nation for the second year running.
  • End of civil war sees Sri Lanka as biggest riser, leaping nearly 30 places
  • If the world had been completely peaceful in 2011, the economic benefit would have been an estimated US $9 trillion

Methodology and Data

The Index is composed of qualitative and quantitative indicators from a wide range of highly respected sources, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies, The World Bank, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, various UN entities and peace institutes and the Economist Intelligence Unit. It combines factors internal to a country and external to it. The indicators are divided into three key thematic categories. All of the indicators have been banded on a scale of 1‐5 and qualitative indicators in the index have been scored by the Economist Intelligence Unit's extensive team of country analysts.

  • 5 measures of ongoing conflict such as: number of conflicts fought 2000‐2005 and number of deaths from organized conflict

  • 10 measures of societal safety and security including: number of displaced people, potential for terrorist acts, number of homicides, number of jailed population

  • 8 measures of militarization such as: military expenditure, number of armed of access to small service personnel, ease weapons.

  • Overall score weighted 60% for internal peace and 40% for external peace

Scores and Rankings

Top 10 most peaceful countries according to 2012 GPI: 1 Iceland
2 Denmark
2 New Zealand
4 Canada
5 Japan
6 Austria
6 Ireland
8 Slovenia
9 Finland
10 Switzerland

See full list of rankings


2012 Global Peace Index Findings:

BBC interview with Steve Killelea

The 2010 Global Peace Index results were released on June 8th 2010, Steve Killelea is talking about the results and his motivations

National Peace Indices

UK Peace Index

The 2013 The United Kingdom Peace Index (UKPI), is the first comprehensive measure of levels of peacefulness within the UK from 2003 to 2012. The UKPI is the second in a series of national peace indices produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace.

UK Peace Index Methodology

The UKPI measures peace according to five key indicators: the level of violent crime, homicide, public disorder, weapons crime, and the number of police. Explore the data on the UKPI interactive map.

UK Peace Index key findings

The UKPI shows that the UK is 11 per cent more peaceful now than it was 10 years ago, with a sharp decline in homicide and crime.
Key Facts

  • 17% of Britons think they will be a victim of violent crime, whereas less than 4% will experience violent crime
  • In the US, 2 out of every 3 homicides are caused by guns, compared to only 1 in 13 in the UK
  • The total economic impact of violence in 2012 was £124 billion.

UK Peace Index links

US Peace Index

The 2012 U.S. Peace Index ranks 50 states and 61 city areas according to their peacefulness.

US Peace Index Methodology

The USPI measures peacefulness according to five indicators: the number of homicides, number of violent crimes, the incarceration rate, number of police employees and the availability of small arms. It is the only statistical analysis of crime, and the cost of crime, in all 50 states and, for the first time this year, the 61 most populous metropolitan areas.

US Peace Index key findings

  • Maine is the most peaceful state for the 11th consecutive year, Louisiana least peaceful state.
  • Wyoming has improved the most while Arizona records the biggest fall.
  • Cambridge metro area is the most peaceful, Detroit the least peaceful.

US Peace Index links

Previous Global Peace Index results and papers

2011 Global Peace Index

Methodology, results and findings

New Dimensions of Peace – Society, Economy, and the Media

2010 Global Peace Index

2010 Global Peace Index Results Report

GPI 2010 Results Report

The results of the Global Peace Index for 2010 suggest that the world has become slightly less peaceful in the past year. The Index, which gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society and militarisation in 149 countries, registered overall increases in several indicators, including the likelihood of violent demonstrations and perceptions of criminality.

New Zealand is ranked as the country most at peace for the second consecutive year and is one of only three countries in the top ten to improve in peacefulness in the 2010 Index. Iceland moved to number two as the country’s economy stabilised after falling to fourth place in last year’s ranking, the improvement demonstrating the resilience of peaceful nations. Small, stable and democratic countries are consistently ranked highest; 15 of the top 20 countries are Western or Central European countries. Despite the global slide, the Middle East & North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa have made the most gains since the research began in 2007. Reasons for the improvement vary, but include more political stability and a drop in military expenditure in the Middle East & North Africa and less access to weapons, a decrease in conflicts and better relations with neighbouring countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Peace Index 2010 Discussion Paper

GPI 2010 Discussion Paper:Peace, Wealth and Human Potential

This paper examines two broad themes of peace. The first theme explores the relationships between peace and economic wealth, while the second brings a fact-based approach to establishing the conditions and causes of peace while analysing trends in peacefulness over the last four years.More specifically:

• The key structures and attitudes associated with peace – what should we focus on to increase peacefulness in the world?
• The value of peace to the global economy – US$1.85 trillion in additional or redirected economic activities per annum would be secured if global violence could be reduced by only 25%, imagine what could be done with such an amount!
• How peace can be used by business leaders as a strategic analysis tool – peace adds a totally new dimension to business strategy, find out how.
• Results from a time-series analysis on levels of peacefulness – which indicators have recorded the most improvement since 2007? Which regions experienced the biggest decline in peacefulness. 


See Also

External Links

Further Reading

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