Kevin Eagan - Jul 22, 2008

Peace is vital for all kinds of industries and it is especially true for the tourism industry. Until recently there was no index that would provide business people with information about peace in concrete countries. Last year, however, saw the lunching of the Global Peace Index. The index was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian international technology entrepreneur and the final study was written by Institute for Economics and Peace in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit.


The Global Peace Index (GPI) shows how peaceful the surveyed countries are according to 24 indicators. The indicators reflect the situation in arms exports, number of jailed people, functional government as well as criminality.  The index provides mathematical data that could be used in business models by not only industry professionals but also by officials who want to improve their country profile.  One hundred forty countries were surveyed for this year’s GPI. The surveyed countries represent 98 per cent of world"s population and approximately 85% of the Earth’s land mass.


European countries were the best performing with Iceland gaining the first position as the most peaceful country in the world. In the survey it is obvious that small, stable and democratic countries are the most peaceful. 16 countries in top 20 most peaceful countries were the western or central European democracies. There was only one Asian state in the top 20 and it was Japan. The United Kingdom and France did not make it to the top ten thanks to their relatively high levels of militarization.


Outside Europe the peace situation is not so good with the three world’s major powers doing rather bad in this respect. Russia is on the 131st position with numerous internal problems. The country also exports considerable amount of weapons. The United States is number 97th as it has high number of jailed population and it practices its military power all over the world. China ended up as 67th. The least peaceful countries are Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and the very last position in the index is taken by Iraq.


According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the world has become a slightly safer place compared to the previous year. The GPI should not only provide useful information for business people it should also help improve the situation in the world. The founder of GPI claims the world needs to be peaceful if we are to solve problems like global warming or decreasing biodiversity.

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