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2023 Global Peace Index: Iceland Tops as Most Peaceful Country, India’s Ranking and Key Findings

The 2023 Global Peace Index, released by the Institute for Economics and Peace, provides a comprehensive ranking of the most peaceful countries in the world. The 17th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI), the world’s leading measure of peacefulness, reveals the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated for the ninth consecutive year, with 84 countries recording an improvement and 79 a deterioration.

This demonstrates that the deteriorations were larger than the improvements, as the post-COVID rises of civil unrest and political instability remain high while regional and global conflicts accelerate.This article highlights key findings from the report, including Iceland’s continued reign as the most peaceful country and India’s ranking.

  1. Iceland: The No. 1 Most Peaceful Country: Iceland has retained its position as the most peaceful country since the inaugural study in 2008. It excels in domains such as ongoing domestic and international conflict, societal safety and security, and militarization. Additionally, Iceland ranks as the third happiest country globally, following Finland and Denmark.

  2. European Dominance in Peacefulness: Seven out of the top 10 most peaceful countries in the world are located in Europe. Denmark, Ireland, and Switzerland are among the nations that contribute to Europe’s peaceful reputation. New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, and Slovenia also feature prominently in the top 10.

Overall GPI Score

A composite index measuring the peacefulness of countries made up of 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators each weighted on a scale of 1-5. The lower the score the more peaceful the country.
RANK REGION SCORE

1

Iceland

1.124
2

Denmark

1.31
3

Ireland

1.312
4

New Zealand

1.313
5

Austria

1.316
6

Singapore

1.332
7

Portugal

1.333
8

Slovenia

1.334
9

Japan

1.336
10

Switzerland

1.339

India’s Peacefulness Ranking:

India’s position on the Global Peace Index stands at 126 out of 163 countries. With an overall score of 2.31, India falls below the global average of 2.314. While the country faces ongoing challenges in achieving high levels of peace, it presents an opportunity for improvement.

Key Findings from the Global Peace Index:

a) Global Peace Deterioration: For the ninth consecutive year, the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated. While 84 countries experienced improvements, 79 witnessed a decline. The post-COVID era has seen a rise in civil unrest, political instability, and regional conflicts.

b) Increase in Conflict Deaths: Deaths resulting from global conflict rose by 96% to reach 238,000. Surprisingly, conflict-related fatalities in Ethiopia surpassed those in Ukraine, eclipsing previous peak levels observed during the Syrian war. Several countries, including Myanmar, Israel, and South Africa, reported increased conflict levels.

c) Economic Impact of Violence: The global economic impact of violence surged by 17% or $1 trillion, amounting to $17.5 trillion in 2022. This figure corresponds to approximately 13% of the global GDP. Notably, a hypothetical Chinese blockade of Taiwan would cause a staggering $2.7 trillion drop in global economic output, nearly double the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

d) Changing Military Dynamics: Despite the conflict in Ukraine, military expenditure improved in 92 countries, while 110 countries reduced their military personnel. Conflicts are increasingly internationalized, with 91 countries currently involved in some form of external conflict, up from 58 in 2008.

Impact of the War in Ukraine on Peacefulness:

  • Ukraine’s Deterioration: Ukraine experienced the largest decline in peace, falling 14 places to 157th position. The economic impact of violence in Ukraine increased by 479% or $449 billion, accounting for 64% of the country’s GDP.
  • Positive Trends in Russia: Despite the conflict, Russia showcased improvements in areas such as incarceration rates, violent demonstrations, terrorism impact, and homicide rates. The homicide rate reached its lowest point since 2008.
  • Human Cost: The conflict in Ukraine has led to significant human losses, with 65% of men aged 20 to 24 either fleeing the country or losing their lives in the conflict.

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