Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk


Measuring Peace and Assessing Country Risk

19 Jun 2014

The eighth edition of the Global Peace Index, which ranks 162 countries according to their level of peace, is composed of 22 qualitative and quantitative indicators. The Global Peace Index 2014 looks at its seven-year trend analysis and also includes an analysis of the economic impact of violence.

The Institute for Economics and Peace, an independent, nonpartisan and non-profit think tank published their annual Global Peace Index (GPI) on 18 June 2014. The Index analyses the state of peace around the world, identifying the most and least peaceful countries based on a range of themes.

The report finds that terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought worldwide and the number of refugees and displaced persons were key contributors to the continuing deterioration in global peacefulness last year. Included in this is the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan and the increased intensity of terrorist activity in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and Libya.

Key Findings
  • There is a continuation of the seven-year trend for declining levels of peace globally;
  • Since 2008, 51 countries have improved while 111 countries have deteriorated in peace;
  • The world has become 4% less peaceful since 2008;
  • Europe remains the most peaceful region, with 14 of the top 20 most peaceful countries;
  • Syria has replaced Afghanistan at the bottom of the index, with its Global Peace Index score falling 84% since 2008;
  • Georgia showed the largest improvement in peace levels;
  • The total economic impact of containing violence is estimated to be US$9.46 trillion in 2012;
  • The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria;
  • Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries;
  • The three least peaceful countries are South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria;
  • Levels of peace in South Sudan deteriorated the most since 2013, falling 16 places from last year;
  • The world global average peace score deteriorated slightly since last year, mainly due to global increases in terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought and the number of refugees and displaced people;
  • The economic impact of containing and dealing with the consequences of global violence last year was estimated to be US$9.8 trillion. This is equivalent to 11.3% of global GDP – twice the combined GDP of African countries;
  • This years' Global Peace Index includes a new statistical modelling risk tool, which identifies countries at risk of descending into violence and unrest in the next two years. The new methodology analyses a data set stretching back to 1996, and compares countries with the performance of states with similar institutional characteristics;
  • The ten countries most likely to deteriorate in peace in the next two years are Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia and Qatar. This is based on a new statistical modeling tool, which identifies countries at risk of descending into violence and unrest;
  • The report finds that the most peaceful region continues to be Europe while the least peaceful region is South Asia.
The top 10 countries with very high levels of peace are:

1. Iceland

2. Denmark

3. Austria

4. New Zealand

5. Switzerland

6. Finland

7. Canada

8. Japan

9. Belgium

10. Norway

The bottom countries with very low levels of peace are:

152. Russia

153. North Korea

154. Pakistan

155. Democratic Republic of the Congo

156. Central African Republic

157. Sudan

158. Somalia

159. Iraq

160. South Sudan

161. Afghanistan

162. Syria

You can read more from the Global Peace Index 2014 here.

This article summarises an external report, and is not to be taken as the view of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. 

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The Institute for Economics and Peace