Revealed: the 10 most peaceful countries on the planet

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Kayleigh Dray
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It’s official; Iceland is the world’s most peaceful country, for the sixth year in a row.

The Global Peace Index (GPI), produced each year by the Institute for Economics & Peace, is endorsed by some of the world’s most respected individuals, including the Dalai Llama, and Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus.

Peace, according to their definition (which is based on 22 indicators), is the absence of war, violence, low military spending, levels of policing, organized crime, terrorism, political security, safety, and the application of democratic government.

Through analysing these metrics, the Institute has successfully ranked all 162 countries in the world according to how peaceful they are.

And, once again, it seems as if the Nordic countries have come out on top.

New Zealand and Canada – both popular destinations for Brits with work visas – also made the list.

The 10 most peaceful countries on the planet

  1. Iceland

  2. Denmark

  3. Austria

  4. New Zealand

  5. Portugal

  6. Czech Republic

  7. Switzerland

  8. Canada

  9. Japan

  10. Slovenia

Overall, Europe remains the most peaceful continent, with seven of the top 10 countries on the list.

It is worth pointing out that just over half of these countries were ranked the happiest in the world, while a large proportion of them also made it onto the list of the best countries to work abroad in.

The GPI found that peace is directly correlated to indicators such as income and schooling – Iceland, for example, has a 100% literacy rate across its 300,000 population.

It also showed that small, stable countries which are part of regional blocks are far more likely to get a higher ranking.

The UK didn’t make it anywhere near the top 10, or even the top 30 in this year’s GPI; instead, we were ranked 47th most peaceful in the world.

Explaining or low-ranking position, the GPI says: “[The UK] are held down by very low rankings on external peace indicators, in line with their repeated military engagements in recent years.”

The United States of America, meanwhile, has also dropped in the table to the 103rd spot.

This was due to their “involvement in the armed conflict against ISIL escalated, with thousands of airstrikes conducted in Islamic State-held territory”, as well as their deteriorating relations with Russia.

You can read the full 120-page report here.


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.