The Global Peace Index is a composite index comprised of 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators that gauge the level of peace in 162 countries. These indicators can be grouped into three broad themes: the level of safety and security in a society, the number of international and domestic conflicts and the degree of militarisation. The only statistical measure of its kind, the Global Peace Index allows us to understand what makes societies peaceful and what we need to do in order to mitigate violence in the future. The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that the world is becoming increasingly divided with some countries enjoying unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity while others spiral further into violence and conflict.
Since last year, 81 countries have become more peaceful, while 78 have deteriorated. Many countries in Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, have reached historically high levels of peace. 15 of the 20 most peaceful countries are in Europe. Due to an increase in civil unrest and terrorist activity, the Middle East and North Africa is now the world’s least peaceful region for the first time since the Index began. Syria remains the world’s least peaceful country, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan. The country that suffered the most severe deterioration in peace was Libya, which now ranks 149th out of 162 countries.