This week, Vision of Humanity released the 2011 Global Peace Index. The index looks at 23 indicators in 149 countries around the world and ranks them in terms of how peaceful they are. The indicators look at both internal peace (within the country) and external peace (in terms of their military action abroad).
Some of the indicators include:
- Level of violent crime
- Potential for terrorist acts
- Relations with neighboring countries
- Number of homicides per 100,000 people
- Estimated number of deaths from organized conflict
- Level of disrespect for human rights (Political Terror Scale)
- Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction
The 2011 report found that the world is a less peaceful place (for the third year in a row). This was due to the increased threat of terrorism and violent demonstrations in around 30 countries. The factor that was most improved around the world was the military expenditure as a percentage of GDP.
Overall, the countries that were ranked the highest (most peaceful) were:
2. New Zealand
5. Czech Republic
The countries that were ranked the lowest were:
149. North Korea
As one might expect, countries that have been in the news due to recent internal conflicts ranked quite low on the report, including Pakistan (146), Israel (145), Libya (143) and Bahrain (123).
Canada’s ranking improved significantly from 2010 to 2011, jumping six places from 14th to 8th. The United States ranking remained unchanged from last year at 82nd place.
According to the summary Fact Sheet on the index, “if the U.S. moderately reduced its violence to the same levels as Canada, its economy would realise savings and additional economic activity of approximately US$360 billion.” Worldwide, the report estimates that if the world had been completely peaceful in 2010, this would have generated an additional US$8.12 trillion in economic activity.
Annie blogs about the art and science of parenting at the PhD in Parenting blog.
Image credit: Katrina Nicole