Despite an increase in geopolitical tensions and an upsurge in violence in certain parts of the world, last year saw the overall level of global peacefulness remain stable, according to the latest Global Peace Index report.
Four regions experienced an improvement in peace: Europe, North America, sub-Saharan Africa and Central America and the Caribbean. The remaining five regions – Asia Pacific, South America, Russia and Eurasia, South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa – saw a deterioration.
The MENA region is ranked the least peaceful in the world and saw the most significant changes compared to the previous year as violence flared across Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.
Overall, 81 countries became more peaceful while 78 countries were worse off.
The Global Peace Index, issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace, ranks 162 independent states covering 99.6% of the world’s population.
The 10 most peaceful countries
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
The 10 least peaceful countries
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
- DR Congo
- North Korea
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Author: Paul Muggeridge is Head of Content at Formative Content.
Image: A pile of rocks stand in front of a waterfall in Skogarfoss, Iceland May 28, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson