Iceland has been named the most peaceful country in the world for the seventh consecutive year by The Institute for Economics & Peace.
Iceland is closely followed by Denmark, Austria and New Zealand. Meanwhile Europe continues to rank as the most peaceful region, with eight of the top ten countries located there.
Factors the index takes into account are, among others: the proportion of the population in jail, freedom of the press, perceived willingness to fight in wars, access to weapons, violent crime, gender inequality and political corruption. Despite its high standing, Iceland’s peace GPI has deteriorated slightly since last year, mostly due to increased defense spending.
Syria replaced Afghanistan as the least peaceful country in the world, following the escalating violence of the civil war that began there in 2011. Overall world peace has been trending downwards for the past seven years with eleven nations, with a combined population of 500 million people, defined as being in absolute conflict. While external conflict between different countries has mostly decreased, internal conflict has increased greatly.