Planet Earth is not really a peaceful place, according to an analysis that quantifies the relative peacefulness of 162 nations around the globe.
Released on 11 June 2013, the seventh annual Global Peace Index assessed each country’s internal crime statistics, population trends and other factors — from the number of homicides to terrorist activity to prevailing economic conditions.
Here is the list of 20 most peaceful places on earth:
3. New Zealand
14. Czech Republic
16. Australia & Singapore
Malaysia, ranked at No. 29, is faring much better than United States which is ranked at No. 99, and United Kingdom which is ranked at No. 44.
Nations earned their places on the Global Peace Index list based on 22 indicators compiled from several international sources, including the Gallup World Poll, the University of Maryland Global Terrorism Database, the U.N. Survey on Crime Trends, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies Armed Conflict Database. The indicators measure violent crimes, the size of jail populations, political instability, violent public demonstrations and military expenditures, among other things.
According to the study, in the past five years, 110 countries have become less peaceful, while 48 have improved their scores. The overall gauge of peacefulness around the planet has dropped by 5 percentage points in recent years, with considerable economic impact. The cost of “containing violence” and the associated loss of productivity and property damage are estimated to be USD9.46 trillion in 2012, or 11 percent of the gross world product, the study found.
One of the key factors is the migration of populations to urban areas in developing countries has been a key driver in the rise of homicides worldwide. This has also led to an increase in violent crime.
An interactive map and other information about the Global Peace Index can be found at economicsandpeace.org.