Global Peace Index 2016: High rankings for Scandinavia

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark


Europe is the most peaceful region in the world , headed by Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, which is the second most peaceful country on the globe, only surpassed by Iceland.

These are some of the findings of the Global Peace Index (GPI) of 2016, that measures levels of peacefulness around the world. This years version is the 10th edition of the annual report, issued by the think tank, Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

In the light of the deteriorating conflicts in Syria and Libya, the migration crisis and consistent terrorist attacks, the report finds that peace on a global scale.

“If we look at the world overall, it has become slightly less peaceful in the last 12 months,” IEP’s founder Steve Killelea told The Independent.

The downward development is mainly generated by the increasing violence in especially the Middle East and Northern Africa.

“If we took the Middle East out of the index over the last decade – and last year – the world would have become more peaceful. It really highlights the impact the Middle East is having on the world,” Killelea said.

“The key reason behind it, is our inability to solve the conflicts which are emerging,” he added.

“The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have been going for well over a decade, then it spilled into Syria in 2011, and afterwards into Libya and Yemen. That is really the key to the problem,” Killelea explained.

While some nations encounter high level of unrest, others, such as European and North American nations, experience rising levels of peace, according to the report.

Scandinavian countries have received a high rankings, topped by the leading nations of Denmark (2nd) and Iceland (1st), followed by Finland (11th), Sweden (14th) and Norway (17th). Overall, Europe is the world’s most peaceful region in the world with seven of the top ten places in the ranking.

“It’s not just Iceland, it’s a whole range of countries which we can learn from. They are practising what we call positive peace, which are factors which create and sustain peaceful societies.” he said.

“If positive peace is strong enough, then a country which is presented with shocks won’t actually have a deterioration in peace,” Killelea added.

Countries in South East Asia, on the other hand, receive different rankings, with Singapore on 20th place, as the leading nation, while the Philippines is ranked 139th, as the least peaceful nation in the region.

The GPI 2016 displays an increasing gap between peaceful and less peaceful states in the world. The rankings are based on the broad themes of: safety in a society, national and international conflicts, and level of militarisation.

You can find the GPI 2016 survey using the following link:


The Independent (8 June, 2016)

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Anders Bo Andersen Intern at ScandAsia Thailand Twitter: @andersboand91 Facebook: Blog:

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