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Top-5 world’s most peaceful countries in 2022

13 Dec 2022
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Top-5 world’s most peaceful countries in 2022

Top-5 world’s most peaceful countries in 2022

Top-5 world’s most peaceful countries in 2022

By Daniil Filipenco

There is no doubt that any sane person would like to live in a harmonious society and in a world where peace is everyone’s goal. A peaceful society is one with functional justice and minimal violence. Nations that manage to successfully achieve this equilibrium, at least to a certain degree, are regarded as peaceful. Obviously, the state of absolute “peacefulness” is difficult or perhaps even impossible to achieve. To measure the progress (or regress) of each state in this sense, one Australian-based research institution has developed a tool – the Global Peace Index – that has been referred to since its first publication in 2007.

In today’s article, we will analyse the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2022. One of the first conclusions is that unfortunately, over the last 15 years, there has been a decrease in world peace, mainly due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, old unresolved conflicts and one new full-scale war on the European continent.


What is the Global Peace Index?

The GPI is a report published by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) that was founded in 2007 in Australia. It evaluates the peacefulness of 163 countries on an annual basis. Overall, 23 different factors are taken into account during the evaluation which are categorized into three groups: ongoing domestic and international conflict, societal safety and security, and militarization.

The lower the score achieved by a country, the better the level of peacefulness.

Fig.1. Domains of peacefulness used for GPI 

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace: Global Peace Index 2022


Recent GPI trends

In 2022, the peace score in 90 nations out of 163 saw progress, while in 71 it registered a decline. Among the worst results recorded were Russia and Ukraine which are involved in one of the biggest armed conflicts of this century and also by Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Haiti, where people witness continuous conflicts. The worst score was registered by Afghanistan for the 5th year in a row.

Fig.2. GPI overall trend and year-on-year percentage change, 2008-2022

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace: Global Peace Index 2022

  • The data shows that 116 nations have seen a decrease in homicide rates since 2008 with 33 nations currently having homicide rates below 1 per 100,000 people.
  • Experts predict that the situation in Ukraine will hasten global inflation with sanctions also fuelling shortages and price increases.
  • In the 2022 GPI, the effects have only been partially recorded. These short-term effects could worsen food security, increase Europe’s military spending, and heighten the possibility of political unrest and violent protests.


Most peaceful countries in 2022

Of the top 10 most peaceful countries in 2022, seven are European nations, two are from the Asian continent and one is from the Pacific region. The reverse order of the top five countries with the lowest GPI rating, i.e., the most peaceful nations, is presented below.

5. Austria

Despite Austria’s high ranking in several factors covering welfare including income, employment, and housing, the country could not avoid social unrest, mainly associated with anti-immigrant campaigns. It has also witnessed multiple protests associated with the numerous restrictions imposed by the government to tackle COVID-19.

4. Denmark

Today, in addition to income equality, the country continues to show political stability and a commitment to human rights. Nevertheless, violent protests linked with COVID-19 restrictions took their toll on the peacefulness of the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, as well as the decision to raise the defence budget which contributed to Denmark losing the third position it held in the 2021 standings.

Ireland3. Ireland

Long-standing independence and a neutral army are two of the key drivers of the country’s success this year. Even the protests linked to COVID-19 restrictions did little to stop the country from making its way to becoming one of the most peaceful places on the planet.

2. New Zealand

In terms of peacefulness, the country continues to dominate in the Asia Pacific and is second overall. Low crime rates and military expenditure are two of the major drivers in this sense. It is commonly regarded as being a great place to live which is confirmed by almost flawless scores in all three categories of the GPI. New Zealand shows great results in healthcare, education, employment, and income.

1. Iceland

The fact that Iceland is at the top of the list should come as no surprise because it has held that position since the index was established in 2007. With just over 376,000 citizens and no permanent army, this isolated island-state in Northern Europe also enjoys one of the best educational systems, extremely low incarceration rates, and great employment opportunities.

Eager to find out the scores of the largest and wealthiest countries? Check the full list of countries below.

Source: Institute for Economics and Peace: Global Peace Index 2022


Final word:

The 2022 GPI report shows that some countries have managed to improve their situation while others continue to struggle. Nevertheless, the impacts of the pandemic are ‘alive’ even today, including delays and breakdowns in supply chains across Asia, the shortage of certain products, and increased costs for food and energy. Additionally, inflation is on the rise, reaching its highest levels in the last 40 years in certain nations, with everything being exacerbated by ongoing conflicts around the globe and no sign of a turnaround.




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