The 2013 Global Peace Index (GPI) shows that the world has become less peaceful, with a sharp rise in the number of homicides worldwide.
The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand. Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries. With a newly elected government and a steady recovery from the 2011 turmoil, Libya had the biggest improvement in peace score since last year. The three least peaceful countries are Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria. Syria’s score dropped by the largest margin, with the biggest ever score deterioration in the history of the GPI.
Since the 2008, 110 countries have become less peaceful, while 48 have improved their score. Three main factors that have contributed to the deterioration in peace scores from 2012-2013: the number of homicides, military expenditure as a percentage of GDP and political instability. The number of deaths from internal conflicts has risen significantly. In the past year, the drug war in Mexico claimed twice as many lives as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The total economic impact of containing violence is equivalent to 11% of global GDP, or US $9.46 trillion. If the world could reduce the cost of violence by 50% it would generate enough money to repay the debt of the developing world, provide enough money for the European stability mechanism, and fund the additional amount required to fund the Millennium Development Goals.
The 2013 GPI video explores peace around the world over the last year, and identifies the most peaceful and least peaceful countries.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.