Nearly a billion people live in areas with high or very high exposure to climate hazards, according to the Global Peace Index 2019.

An estimated 971 million are at risk of extreme weather and also potential conflict. A changing climate is likely to damage resource security, livelihoods and create increased numbers of displaced people - all of which can be a threat to peace.

The majority of these people live in Asia-Pacific and South Asia - more than twice as many people as the other regions combined.

Image: Global Peace Index

The most peaceful countries

For the first time in five years, global peacefulness has increased - but only very slightly. And the situation is still worse than 10 years ago.

The global picture is largely similar to last year. Iceland remains the world’s most peaceful country - a title it’s held for 11 years. New Zealand, Austria and Portugal are also among the most peaceful.

Afghanistan is the world’s least peaceful place, replacing Syria, with South Sudan, Iraq and Yemen completing the bottom five.

Image: Global Peace Index

Violence doesn’t just carry a human cost - there’s an economic one as well. Its impact on the global economy last year was $14.1 trillion in purchasing power parity terms.

That’s $1,853 per person.

It did fall though, for the first time since 2012.

Image: Global Peace Index

How do you measure peace?

The Global Peace Index looks at the “harmony achieved by the absence of violence or the fear of violence”. This is known as negative peace and is measured using three areas for the GPI:

  • Ongoing domestic and international conflict
  • Societal safety and security
  • Militarisation

Various sub-indicators are combined to them give an overall score.

You can read more about the methodology here.