Samuel Dorsi - Jun 15, 2009

Changes in the Global Peace Index – Iceland is no longer the most peaceful country. Also, because of the global economic crisis world is less peaceful this year.

The Institute for Economics and Peace in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit once again published its report about peace in 144 countries. The countries were judged by 23 indicators like arms exports, number of jailed people, wars or degree of democracy. Based on the criteria the Global Peace Index was created. The index provides measurable data that might be important to business people as well as for countries’ governments.

According to the new Global Peace Index for 2009, Iceland is no more the most peaceful country on the earth. Ranking for the country changed because of the troubled Iceland’s economy which has suffered severe hit from the global financial crisis. It has switched places with New Zealand that ranked 4th in 2008 and now it is the world’s safest destination.

Among the ten world’s safest countries, only three are non European – besides the winning New Zealand, there is also Japan (6th) and Canada (7th). Northern European did as usually quite well, Denmark and Norway are the second safest countries, and Iceland is fourth. Austria is the fifth and Sweden comes as sixth. Ninth position goes to Finland as well as Slovenia. Just outside the top ten is another new EU member state, the Czech Republic (11th).

The ten least safe countries are Zimbabwe, Russia, Pakistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Israel, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq on the last 144th position.

As in 2008, the USA did not rank very well. It ended up as 83rd which is, however, an improvement in comparison with the previous year (going up from 97th position). Among the factors that cause the bad rankings for the USA is for example the ease of access to weapons, foreign wars or the number of imprisoned people.

Peace is not only good for civilians but it is vital for many kinds of business. Lack of peace causes significant economic losses. “Thanks” to the global economic crisis, our world has become a less peaceful place, at least according to the GPI.


GPI 2009
1/ New Zealand

2/ Denmark

3/ Norway

4/ Iceland

5/ Austria

6/ Sweden

7/ Japan

8/ Canada

9/ Finland

10/ Slovenia






Global Peace Index: The Most Peaceful Is Iceland



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