New Peace Index Ranks US Among Worst Nations

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Reuters

New Peace Index Ranks US Among Worst Nations

by
Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON- The United States is among the least peaceful nations in the world, ranking 96th between Yemen and Iran, according to a new index released on Wednesday that evaluates 121 nations based on their peacefulness.According to the Global Peace Index, created by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Norway is the most peaceful nation in the world and Iraq is the least, just after Russia, Israel and Sudan.

"The objective of the Global Peace Index was to go beyond a crude measure of wars by systemically exploring the texture of peace," said Global Peace Index President Clyde McConaghy.

He said the inaugural effort proves "peace can and has and will continue to be measured."

The index was compiled based on 24 indicators measuring peace inside and outside of a country. They included the number of wars a country was involved in the past five years, how many soldiers were killed overseas and how much money was made in arms sales.

Domestic indicators included the level of violent crimes, relations with neighboring countries and level of distrust in other citizens.

The results were then reviewed by a panel of international experts.

"We were trying to find out what positive qualities lead to peace," said Leo Abruzzese, the North American editorial director of the intelligence unit that is part of The Economist Group that publishes the well known magazine.

He said they found in general the most peaceful countries were the smallest, the most politically stable and democratic.

"Democracy didn't actually correlate with peace, but a well-functioning democracy did. Efficient, accountable government seems to be the leading determinant of peace. Beyond that, income helps."

Fifteen of the top 20 most peaceful nations are in Western Europe, and countries with higher income appeared to lead to higher levels of peace, he said.

The United States ranked 96th out of 121 nations, just worse than Yemen and just better than Iran, Honduras and South Africa.

Abruzzese said the United States' score was pulled down by the number of wars it is involved in, large numbers of soldiers killed on the battlefield and high defense spending.

He said the fact the United States has the world's largest prison population per share of overall population also pulled down the score.

"It also has relatively high levels of violent crime," he added.

McConaghy said the index would be revised each year and increase the number of countries included. Some countries like Afghanistan and North Korea were not included in the first index because reliable data for all 24 indicators was not available.

121 GPI rankings

Countries most at peace ranked first
Rank/Country/Score
1 Norway 1.357
2 New Zealand 1.363
3 Denmark 1.377
4 Ireland 1.396
5 Japan 1.413
6 Finland 1.447
7 Sweden 1.478
8 Canada 1.481
9 Portugal 1.481
10 Austria 1.483
11 Belgium 1.498
12 Germany 1.523
13 Czech Republic 1.524
14 Switzerland 1.526
15 Slovenia 1.539
16 Chile 1.568
17 Slovakia 1.571
18 Hungary 1.575
19 Bhutan 1.611
20 Netherlands 1.620
21 Spain 1.633
22 Oman 1.641
23 Hong Kong 1.657
24 Uruguay 1.661
25 Australia 1.664
26 Romania 1.682
27 Poland 1.683
28 Estonia 1.684
29 Singapore 1.692
30 Qatar 1.702
31 Costa Rica 1.702
32 South Korea 1.719
33 Italy 1.724
34 France 1.729
35 Vietnam 1.729
36 Taiwan 1.731
37 Malaysia 1.744
38 United Arab Emirates 1.747
39 Tunisia 1.762
40 Ghana 1.765
41 Madagascar 1.766
42 Botswana 1.786
43 Lithuania 1.788
44 Greece 1.791
45 Panama 1.798
46 Kuwait 1.818
47 Latvia 1.848
48 Morocco 1.893
49 United Kingdom 1.898
50 Mozambique 1.909
51 Cyprus 1.915
52 Argentina 1.923
53 Zambia 1.930
54 Bulgaria 1.936
55 Paraguay 1.946
56 Gabon 1.952
57 Tanzania 1.966
58 Libya 1.967
59 Cuba 1.968
60 China 1.980
61 Kazakhstan 1.995
62 Bahrain 1.995
63 Jordan 1.997
64 Namibia 2.003
65 Senegal 2.017
66 Nicaragua 2.020
67 Croatia 2.030
68 Malawi 2.038
69 Bolivia 2.052
70 Peru 2.056
71 Equatorial Guinea 2.059
72 Moldova 2.059
73 Egypt 2.068
74 Dominican Republic 2.071
75 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2.089
76 Cameroon 2.093
77 Syria 2.106
78 Indonesia 2.111
79 Mexico 2.125
80 Ukraine 2.150
81 Jamaica 2.164
82 Macedonia 2.170
83 Brazil 2.173
84 Serbia 2.181
85 Cambodia 2.197
86 Bangladesh 2.219
87 Ecuador 2.219
88 Papua New Guinea 2.223
89 El Salvador 2.244
90 Saudi Arabia 2.246
91 Kenya 2.258
92 Turkey 2.272
93 Guatemala 2.285
94 Trinidad andTobago 2.286
95 Yemen 2.309
96 United States of America 2.317
97 Iran 2.320
98 Honduras 2.390
99 South Africa 2.399
100 Philippines 2.428
101 Azerbaijan 2.448
102 Venezuela 2.453
103 Ethiopia 2.479
104 Uganda 2.489
105 Thailand 2.491
106 Zimbabwe 2.495
107 Algeria 2.503
108 Myanmar 2.524
109 India 2.530
110 Uzbekistan 2.542
111 Sri Lanka 2.575
112 Angola 2.587
113 Cote d'Ivoire 2.638
114 Lebanon 2.662
115 Pakistan 2.697
116 Colombia 2.770
117 Nigeria 2.898
118 Russia 2.903
119 Israel 3.033
120 Sudan 3.182
121 Iraq 3.437

© Reuters 2007

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