The Global Peace Index, produced by the Australian Institute for Economics and Peace, measures global peacefulness. It gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarisation in 153 countries by taking into account 23 separate indicators. The 2011 results reveal the world is less peaceful for the third straight year and despite a decade-long war on terrorism, the potential for terrorist acts has increased. Iceland is the world’s most peaceful nation, followed by New Zealand with Japan in third spot. Significantly, the research shows that the cost of violence in 2010 to the global economy was more than $8.12 trillion.
The comprehensive set of 2011 Global Peace Index results can be see at http://www.visionofhumanity.org/ including an interactive map, summary video and reports.
About the GPI
The Global Peace Index is a project of the Institute for Economics and Peace. It is the first time that an index has been created that ranks the nations of the world by their peacefulness and identifies some of the drivers of peace.
Most people understand the absence of violence as an indicator of peace. This definition also allows for the measuring of peacefulness within, as well as between, nations. The GPI ranks independent countries by their ‘absence of violence’ using metrics that combine both internal and external factors.
The Institute for Economics and Peace, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit and with the guidance of an international team of academics and peace experts, has compiled the Global Peace Index (GPI). The index is composed of 23 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace – including levels of democracy and transparency, education and national wellbeing. The team has used the latest available figures from a wide range of respected sources, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies, The World Bank, various UN offices and Peace Institutes and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Global Peace Index is intended to contribute significantly to the public debate on peace.
The project’s ambition is to go beyond a crude measure of wars – and systematically explore the texture of peace. The hope is that it will provide a quantitative measure of peacefulness, comparable over time, that will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms that nurture and sustain peace. This, in turn will provide a new platform for further study and discussion, which will hopefully inspire and influence world leaders and governments to further action.