10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World
I enjoy learning of reports where Canada ranks on the world stage. We sometimes get overlooked. Not that we mind – we don’t really want the attention but that doesn’t mean we don’t blow our own horn every once in a while. I have been a little guilty of it many times before writing about how Canada faired amongst the smartest countries, the happiest countries, the best countries for entrepreneurs, the best countries to live and the most competitive countries to do business in the world. Today, I’m looking at where Canada ranked on a list of the most peaceful countries in the world.
This list is based on the sixth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). When crafting the GPI 2012 the IEP was “under the guidance of an international panel of independent experts with data collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).” The GPI is endorsed by a wide range of supporters including Nobel Laureates, Economists, Academics, Humanitarians, Politicians, Royalty and Organizations including Mr. Kofi Annan, President Jimmy Carter, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Amnesty International, Right To Play, United Nations Foundation, The White House Project and many more.
Image courtesy of meditationinvirginia.org
The GPI ranks Independent countries by their ‘absence of violence’ as that is the generally accepted indicator of peace. The methodology to compile this ranking of over 158 countries used 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources which measured three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarisation. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material well-being. The overall composite score and index was then formulated by applying a weight of 60% to the measure of internal peace and 40% for external peace. The indicators were graded on a scale of 1 through 5, with 5 being the least peaceful and 1 being the most peaceful and the top 10 are listed below.
- 10) Switzerland – GPI score: 1.349. Though Switzerland received the lowest score for political instability, they received a 10th place finish is due to mandatory military service and the amount of weapons they export (relative to their size).
- 9) Finland – GPI score: 1.348. Finland has consistently made the top ten of the GPI since (at least) 2007, and fell from 7th place due to other countries becoming more peaceful rather than anything they did to change their ranking.
- 8) Slovenia – GPI score: 1.330. Slovenia has the distinction of being the most peaceful of the 29 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
- 7) Ireland – GPI score: 1.328. Ireland is re-entering the top ten after falling out of it in the GPI 2011 index. They were able to reclaim a place at the top of the list “by reducing [their] military expenditure to just 1.2% of its gross domestic product and by increasing its political stability, which has far-reaching effects on internal peace.”
- 6) Austria – GPI score: 1.328. Austria is the third most peaceful of the European nations on the list, due to their low crime and homicide rates.
- 5) Japan – GPI score: 1.326. Japan is second only to New Zealand of the 25 nations in the Asia Pacific region.
- 4) Canada – GPI score: 1.317. Canada has consistently made the top ten with exceptions being 2008 and 2010, when the number of military casualties in Afghanistan increased.
- 2) New Zealand – GPI score: 1.239. New Zealand has made the top five since 2007.
- 2) Denmark – GPI score: 1.239. Due to decreased military spending Denmark have moved up two spots to be tied for second place.
- 1) Iceland – GPI: 1.113. Iceland received top honors on the GPI for the second year in a row, as in all but four indicators they received the best possible score.
You can read the full details of how each country scored in each indicator. Canada was the only North American country to rank in the top ten of the GPI 2012 as the United States ranked 88th in this year’s GPI. Somalia remains the world’s least peaceful nation for the second year running.
This Global Peace Index 2012 is kind of special and can have a positive impact as stable and peaceful conditions can help attract tourists and new businesses. In this uncertain and volatile global economy, anything that helps entice investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses can only be beneficial. I’ll stop blowing our horn for now and end with a big Congratulations Canada!
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