Global Peace Index

Today we launched the first study to rank countries around the world according to their peacefulness on behalf of our client Steve Killelea . The Global Peace Index studies 121 countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe and its publication comes just a week before the leaders of the world’s richest countries gather for the G8 summit in Germany.

It makes for very interesting reading. The Index is topped by Norway but the rankings show that even among the G8 countries there are significant differences in the peacefulness of nations. Japan ranks the highest at five; Canada (8) also falls in the top ten; and Germany ranks just outside (12). Italy (33), France (34) and the UK (49) rank in the top half of the table. However the USA is listed 96th and Russia is in the bottom five (118).

Steve Killelea commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to develop a methodology for measuring peace in a consistent way across the world, and collecting the data required to calculate the Index. Using their team of analysts around the globe, combined with input from a group of international peace experts, they have constructed a model which uses 24 indicators to measure the internal and external peacefulness of nations. Full details can be found here

The indicators include the levels of violence, organised crime and military expenditure within a country. The Index has also been correlated against a range of social development indicators including democracy, transparency, education and well-being to better understand the determinants or “drivers” that create or sustain peace.

The main findings of the Global Peace Index are:

  • Small, stable countries which are part of regional blocs, such as the European Union, are most likely to get a higher ranking
  • The main determinants of internal peace are income, extent of schooling and the level of regional integration
  • There is no single common factor which makes countries score poorly for external peace.

Perhaps before you book that holiday you should check out just how peaceful your destination is:

Peace Index Chart

[tags]Peace [/tags]

Categories Technology

6 thoughts on “Global Peace Index

  1. Russia is where?!?!?!

    I’m sorry, is there a war we’re in here that I’ve not heard about?

    I’ll have to go through the methodology, but it just seems to defy logic that Russia is grouped with Colombia (there’s no FARC equivalent here; and our ‘disorganised’ crime levels are stable); Nigeria (intra-sectarian rioting happening?); or Israel and Sudan (both where indigenous peoples are involved with conflict).

    Chechnya has way quietened down now so that can’t justify it… (scarcely more than ETA or Yemen). Methinks Yankie PR firm joins in America’s typical game of Russia-bashing? 😉


  2. Have a look at the methodology. I’d be interested in your view when you have been through it. As for the ‘yankees’, they didn’t come out of it very well either. Our client is Australian, the EIU are based in the UK and the team who ran this at Edelman are all British. As am I. And the UK barely made the top 50 so not a ringing endorsement of us either.


  3. I was fascinated by this too, I love data, every country you have mentioned could run stories on this, as long as the methodology stands up to scrutiny. And I’m sure you would have checked that out thoroughly.


  4. How can Costa Rica (no army at all) be only #31?

    How can France (uncontrolled rioting in the streets, public protests and strikes, refusing to participate in UN peacekeeping missions) be so high?

    How can Myanmar (military junta ruling and all) be above India?

    Was the study controlled for those countries that are islands? It seems like many of the top rankings are islands, which certainly gives them a head above any other countries on the “relations with neighbours” criteria. Was aid to other countries taken into account? To help after tsunamis, to provide food in Africa, etc? That is a measure of peace with other countries. Why was access to guns a large factor? Shouldn’t Switzerland be #1 with their policy of neutrality and stable democracy, or were they “dragged down” by their wide access to guns? What about draconian laws or number of executions? Sure, the US has higher rates of incarceration than higher-ranked countries such as Singapore and China– that’s because they execute them for petty crimes or organ transplants! Was that taken into account at all?

    I see that infant mortality is used– the US always ranks lower on that because we count stillborns as infants dying and other countries do not. Was that taken into account as a factor?

    I know one thing– I can walk around almost any city in the US or the UK and will probably not be mugged on a public subway or in a restaurant. In Italy, I couldn’t count on that at all, yet it has a much higher ranking. Which is really more peaceful? I wouldn’t just count violent homicides, as rapes, muggings, thefts and assaults also contribute to the peacefulness and overall safety of a country.

    My Norwegian friend tells me that while Norway may spend not much on their military, they design everyday infrastructure to be able to be used in wartime– ferries are actually designed for possible military use if necessary, etc. Was that “hidden” military spending taken into account for Norway’s top ranking?


  5. All good questions. Take a look at the methodology the EIU used by following the links. They detail the criteria nad weighting.


  6. Funny how Vietnam has a pretty good ranking.
    Must been due to the Empire bombing the daylights out of them and poisoning their environm ……… I mean bringing them freeDumb and DemonCracy for a dozen years.
    OH wait ! Amurkastan lost that one too.


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