Global Deterioration of Peace

The latest Global Peace Index has found that this year, the world became slightly less peaceful, continuing a 7-year trend. The decline was driven by global events that include tensions in the Ukraine, the ongoing conflict in Syria, civil war in South Sudan and a broadening and increased intensity of terrorist activity in many countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and Libya.index


  • Since 2008, 111 countries have deteriorated in levels of peace, while only 51 have increased.
  • Europe retains its position as the most peaceful region with 14 of the top 20 most peaceful countries.
  • The world has become less peaceful over the last year, mainly due to a rise in terrorist activity, the number of conflicts fought and the number of refugees and displaced people.
  • 500 million people live in countries at risk of instability and conflict, 200 million of whom live below the poverty line.
  • The Global Economic Impact of violence reached US$9.8 trillion last year, which is equal to 2 times the total GDP of Africa.


The most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand.

Georgia, Cote d’Ivoire and Libya all made the biggest improvements in peace since last year. A common characteristic in all these countries is the ongoing improvement in political stability in the wake of conflict.

Syria replaces Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful country. South Sudan experienced the largest fall on the Global Peace Index and dropping 16 places to rank 160th of 162 countries.

Snapshot of global state of peace

Snapshot of global state of peace

Trends in Peace

Trends in peace are shifting from hostility between states, to a rise in the number and intensity of internal conflicts.

Since 2008 only four of the Global Peace Index’s 22 indicators showed improvement, while 18 deteriorated.

Economic Impact

The economic cost of violence to the global economy is equivalent to around US$1,350 per person, or twice the size of Africa’s economy.

To explore violence containment spending by country, download the Economic Impact of Violence Containment, a report that details the cost of violence in over 150 countries according to 13 different types of violence related spending.

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Categories: Africa, Asia, Europe, International politics, Latin America, North America

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