The 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI) is the sixth edition of the Institute for Economics and Peace study that looks at global levels of peacefulness. The GPI ranks 158 nations using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators which evaluate three main criteria: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict and the degree of militarization. The Institute hopes the report will foster a better understanding of how researchers, policymakers, government and society can create a more peaceful world.
View the map after the jump.
This year’s index, released today, indicates the world improved in peacefulness for the first time since 2009. Other highlights:
- Western Europe remains the most peaceful region with the majority of its countries ranking in the top 20.
- Iceland is the most peaceful nation for the second year in a row.
- North American, Latin American and sub-Saharan Africa countries all experienced gains.
- The country showing the most improvement was Sri Lanka which jumped 30 places in the wake of the end of its civil war.
- Syria experienced the biggest drop tumbling over 30 places to 147 on the list.
- Somalia remained the least peaceful nation for the second year running.