Global Peace Statistics: Understanding the Trends

Understanding global peace trends is crucial in today’s world. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know about the state of peace globally, based on the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report:

  • Overall Peace Levels: The world has become slightly less peaceful in the past year.
  • Most Peaceful Region: Europe remains the most peaceful area, despite facing challenges.
  • Least Peaceful Regions: The Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of the Americas struggle with higher levels of conflict.
  • Countries of Concern: Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan face significant peace challenges.
  • Improving Countries: The UAE, Indonesia, Zambia, and Angola show notable peace improvements.
  • Economic Impact: Peaceful countries enjoy faster economic growth and more equitable income distribution.
  • Challenges: Increasing militarization, new forms of warfare, and rising tensions between major powers pose threats to global peace.
  • Opportunities: Positive peace, inclusion, information sharing, and environmental protection offer paths to improvement.

This summary captures the essence of global peace trends, highlighting key points, challenges, and opportunities for progress.

Global Peace Index: An Overview

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is a big study done every year by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) that looks at how peaceful or not countries around the world are. It checks 163 countries using 23 different signs to see how peaceful they are. These signs are about things like:

  • Fights inside the country and with other countries
  • How safe people feel in their country
  • How much the country is focused on military stuff

The GPI gets its information from places everyone trusts, like the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and the UN’s peace missions. It helps us see how peace is doing from one year to the next and tells us how much money violence is costing us. The goal is to help us find ways to make the world more peaceful.

Key Points from the 2022 Global Peace Index

  • Sadly, the world got a little less peaceful last year, with 90 countries getting better and 71 getting worse.
  • On average, peace went down by a tiny bit (0.3%) because countries spent more on their military, there was more fighting in the streets, and more protests turned violent.
  • Europe is still the calmest place, with 13 of the 20 most peaceful countries. But, 22 European countries saw peace go down last year.
  • Afghanistan is at the bottom of the list for the fifth year in a row, with Yemen, Syria, Russia, and South Sudan also in the bottom five.
  • Iceland is the champion of peace again, doing great in all areas checked by the GPI.
  • The money lost because of violence went up for the first time since 2008, reaching $16.5 trillion in 2022. That’s a lot, like 10.9% of all the money made in the world.
  • Countries spent more on their military in 2021, the most since 2011. This was especially true in Eastern Europe.

The report from 2022 shows us that the world is a bit less peaceful than before. To change this, we need everyone – governments, people, and groups – to work together. The IEP suggests focusing on talking things out, being fair, including everyone, and taking care of our planet. By doing these things, we can help make the world a safer place for everyone.

When we dive into the 2022 Global Peace Index numbers by area, we notice some clear patterns about peace and fights over the last 5 years (2018-2022).


Europe is still the calmest place. But, it had a bit of a tough time last year:

  • Europe’s peace score went down by 0.4%.
  • 22 countries saw a drop in peace.
  • The UK, France, and Germany slipped a bit in peace rankings.
  • Russia’s score got much worse because of its attack on Ukraine, making it 153rd in peace.

Even though Europe is mostly peaceful, issues like the war in Ukraine show it can still face big problems.

North America

Peace in North America didn’t get better in 2022:

  • The US dropped three spots to 122nd because of more crimes and protests. Canada is still very peaceful, ranking 6th.
  • On average, peace in North America got slightly worse by 0.2 percent.
  • But, it’s still the second calmest area after Europe.

North America had a small step back in peace in 2022 but is generally a lot more peaceful than most places.


The Asia-Pacific had mixed results:

  • Overall, peace got a little better by 0.3 percent.
  • 7 countries were less peaceful, but 5 saw improvements.
  • Singapore took over New Zealand as the most peaceful place in Asia-Pacific.
  • Afghanistan is now at the bottom globally after violence increased with the Taliban’s return.

While some parts of Asia-Pacific are very peaceful, areas like Afghanistan drag down the region’s overall peace.

Middle East and North Africa

This area had a hard time with fighting:

  • Peacefulness went down by 3.4 percent.
  • Yemen, Syria, and Iraq are among the least peaceful places.
  • But, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are in the top 50 peaceful countries worldwide.

The Middle East and North Africa have big violence issues in some countries, while others are doing well.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is still the least peaceful area:

  • It has 4 of the 10 least peaceful countries.
  • The average peace score dropped by 0.5 percent, undoing some past progress.
  • Mauritius and Ghana did well, ranking 52nd and 58th in peace.

Many countries in this area have big problems, but some show signs of hope.

Central America and the Caribbean

This area faced challenges in 2022:

  • Peacefulness went down by 1.5 percent.
  • Jamaica and Costa Rica are still in the top 50 but fell a few spots.
  • El Salvador and Honduras saw more organized crime.

Central America and the Caribbean are dealing with growing safety issues, even in places usually known for peace.

South America

South America had a bit of everything:

  • 4 countries got more peaceful, but 5 saw declines.
  • Chile dropped 13 spots after protests became violent.
  • Uruguay climbed 7 places to 27th most peaceful.

While places like Uruguay are calm, other areas in South America face problems that lower the overall peace.

Comparison Tables

Region Avg. Score Change Improvements Declines
Europe -0.4% 0 22
North America -0.2% 0 2
Asia-Pacific +0.3% 5 7
Middle East and N. Africa -3.4% 0 4
Sub-Saharan Africa -0.5% 2 6
Central America & Caribbean -1.5% 0 8
South America 0% 4 5

So we see Europe is still the calmest overall but had some trouble last year. The Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America have a lot of fighting. Asia-Pacific and South America have different peace levels depending on the country. Knowing these patterns helps us see where we need to work harder to make peace.

Countries of Concern and Improvement

When we take a closer look at how countries have moved up or down in peace rankings from 2018 to 2022, some countries really stand out, either because they’ve become more peaceful or less so. Understanding the reasons behind these changes can help us know where to focus our efforts.

Countries With Concerning Declines

Yemen – Now at 160th out of 163 countries, Yemen has seen a big drop in peace. Its long civil war, attacks from outside countries, terrorism, hunger, poverty, and a big cholera outbreak have made life very hard. More fights and harm to civilians in 2022 have made things worse. The lack of basic services and help for people is also a big problem.

Russia – Russia’s unexpected attack on Ukraine in February 2022 made its peace ranking go down, moving from 154th to 156th. The sanctions and global issues that followed have also hurt it. Its ongoing aggression and not wanting to talk things out show why Russia is a worry when it comes to peace.

Chile – Chile went from being the most peaceful country in South America to 44th now after protests in 2019. Even though some things have gotten better, protests still happen and sometimes get violent. The uncertain political situation also affects Chile’s peace ranking.

Syria – Now in its 12th year of a complicated civil war, Syria is still the least peaceful place outside of Afghanistan. The damage from the war will likely affect peace for many years. Continued fighting, terrorism, broken infrastructure, and reports of war crimes don’t offer much hope for getting better soon.

Countries With Hopeful Improvements

United Arab Emirates (UAE) – The UAE has been moving up in the peace rankings, now at 34th. It’s doing really well in keeping people safe and secure, cutting down on military stuff, and avoiding fights inside and outside the country. Its focus on being open, using new technology, and growing its economy points to it staying peaceful.

Indonesia – Even with some trouble at home and nearby, Indonesia is becoming more peaceful, now at 53rd. Less conflict inside the country and less terrorism have helped, as have efforts to reduce poverty and make infrastructure better. With steady changes in government, Indonesia is leading the way in building peace in the region.

Zambia – Thanks to fewer conflicts inside the country and with neighbors, and more respect for human rights, Zambia moved up 11 spots to rank 80th globally for peace. It’s also doing better in keeping people safe and cutting down on military stuff. If it stays stable and democratic, we can expect it to keep getting more peaceful.

Angola – After many years of civil war, Angola is now one of the most improved countries in Sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to peace. Now at 83rd place, it’s getting better scores for having fewer conflicts, keeping people safe, and not focusing too much on the military. If it can keep its politics stable and its economy growing, peace should last.

By looking at what’s making peace better or worse, we see both problems and good signs. Using this info, we can help guide the people who visit towards actions that support peace.


Economic Impact of Peace

Peace isn’t just good for keeping us safe; it’s also great for the economy. The 2022 Global Peace Index report by the Institute for Economics and Peace looks at how peace affects 163 countries’ money matters.

Here’s what they found about how peace helps economies grow:

  • Countries that are more peaceful see their economies grow faster. Between 2008-2021, the most peaceful countries saw their economies grow by 3.1% on average, while the least peaceful ones only grew by 0.9%.
  • Companies from other countries prefer to invest in peaceful places. From 2017-2021, the most peaceful countries got 10.3% of their GDP from these investments, but the least peaceful got only 2.2%.
  • Peace makes income more equal. The Gini coefficient, a way to measure if income is shared fairly, is lower (33.5) in peaceful countries, meaning they’re more equal. In less peaceful countries, it’s higher (39.3), showing more inequality.
  • Peaceful countries also score higher on the Human Development Index (0.77), which looks at health, education, and living standards, compared to less peaceful places (0.57).

But violence costs a lot too:

  • The whole world felt the cost of violence hit $16.5 trillion in 2022, which is 10.9% of all the money made around the globe.
  • In the 10 least peaceful countries, violence meant losing 26.4% of what they could earn, while the most peaceful lost only 3.6%.

The numbers show a clear link between peace and a healthy economy. When there’s less peace, countries don’t do as well in growing their economy, getting investments, sharing wealth fairly, and making sure people are happy and healthy. Keeping peace helps build strong societies.

Comparison Tables

Economic Indicator 10 Most Peaceful Countries 10 Least Peaceful Countries
Annual Real GDP Growth 2008-2021 3.1% 0.9%
Foreign Direct Investment Inflows 2017-2021 10.3% of GDP 2.2% of GDP
Gini Coefficient Estimate (Income Inequality Rating) 33.5 39.3
Human Development Index Score 2022 0.77 0.57

This table shows us that countries with more peace do better in making money, attracting investments, sharing wealth more equally, and having healthier, happier people.

Making peace a priority clearly helps the economy. The findings suggest that countries need peace to grow their economies, attract foreign money, reduce inequality, and improve people’s lives. Organizations like Signup4Peace are important because they encourage people everywhere to say no to war and unfairness. The economic benefits of peace give us all more reason to support peace.

Challenges and Opportunities

Peace around the world is up against some tough obstacles, but there are also chances to make things better.

Key Challenges

Increasing Militarization – A lot of countries are spending more money on their armies now. In 2021, the world spent over $2 trillion on military stuff, the most since 2011. Countries like China and India are really beefing up their defenses. Even peaceful places in Europe are buying more weapons because they’re worried about Russia. This focus on military power makes peace harder to achieve.

New Kinds of Warfare – Technology is changing how fights happen. Cyber attacks and spreading fake news are new ways to mess with other countries. Drones and robots are also changing how wars are fought. As countries use technology in new and scary ways, keeping peace becomes tougher.

Rising Tensions Between Big Powers – When big countries don’t get along, small problems can turn into big global issues. Right now, the US, China, Russia, and others aren’t seeing eye to eye on a lot of things like trade, climate, and human rights. This makes it easier for conflicts to start. We need more talking and cooperation to calm things down.

These challenges show that keeping peace is hard work. As countries spend more on their military, use technology for harm, and big powers argue, the risk of violence grows. We need to talk and work together to solve these problems.

Opportunities for Progress

The 2022 Global Peace Index gives us some clues from the world’s most peaceful places on how to make things better:

Positive Peace – The most peaceful countries are good at things like fairness, justice, being connected as a community, and having good leaders. These are parts of "positive peace." Working on these areas can help avoid violence. Countries like Iceland and New Zealand are good examples.

Inclusion – Peaceful places also make sure everyone is included and has a say. They don’t allow discrimination in jobs or government. Being open to everyone helps keep peace.

Information Sharing – Sharing information openly about crime and policies helps build trust. When people know what’s going on, they can help find fair solutions.

Environmental Protection – Taking care of nature is also important for peace. Countries that protect their environment help keep their communities healthy and avoid conflicts over resources.

Even though peace has its challenges, there are ways to improve. Countries that focus on "positive peace," being open, including everyone, and protecting the environment show us that change is possible. We need to work together globally to make these ideas work. With more people joining groups like Signup4Peace, there’s more pressure to make progress.


Key Points

The 2022 Global Peace Index shows us a few important things about peace in the world from the last five years:

  • Europe is still the most peaceful place, but it had some trouble in 2022. We need to keep an eye on it to keep things stable.
  • The Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and some parts of the Americas are struggling with more conflicts and less peace. Putting extra effort here could really help.
  • Countries like Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan are at the bottom of the peace list because of ongoing wars that make things really tough.
  • On the bright side, countries like the UAE, Indonesia, Zambia, and Angola are doing better and can show others how to improve.
  • Big challenges to peace include more spending on military, new tech in wars, and big countries not getting along. Working together can help solve these issues.
  • The best examples show us that focusing on fairness, including everyone, sharing information, and taking care of the environment can lead to more peace.

These points tell us that while peace has its challenges, we can make things better if we all work together. Platforms like that bring people together to support peace and justice are really important. They help get more people involved in making a difference for peace around the world.

The Road Ahead

The 2022 Global Peace Index tells us that making the world peaceful takes work in many areas — like reducing military tensions, solving big disagreements, and building a positive community with fairness, justice, and care for the environment.

Even though some countries are having a hard time, others show that improvement is possible. By sharing these success stories and getting more people involved, places like aim to help make the world a more peaceful place, one step at a time.

By taking small actions, like promising to support peace or reaching out to leaders when there’s unfairness or conflict, we can all help. By working together across different places and cultures, we can stand up for important things like nonviolence and human rights.

The future might be uncertain, but we can make progress by sticking with it. By growing a community of people who want to build peace, we can create a better world for everyone, now and in the future.

Is the world getting more or less peaceful over time?

According to the latest Global Peace Index from 2023, the world has been getting less peaceful over the last 15 years. There’s been a 5% drop in how peaceful the world is, showing that while some countries are doing better, overall, there are more conflicts and less peace globally.

Is the Global Peace Index accurate?

Yes, the Global Peace Index (GPI) is known for being a reliable way to see how peaceful countries are. It uses information from trusted groups, including international organizations and government bodies, to look at crime, political problems, how much money is spent on the military, and more. The GPI has been fine-tuned for 16 years to make sure it gives a true picture of peace around the world.

What does Global Peace Index measure?

The Global Peace Index checks how peaceful countries are by looking at three big things: if there are any fights happening inside or with other countries, how safe and secure society feels, and how much a country is involved in military activities. Countries with lower scores are more peaceful, and those with higher scores have more violence and conflict.

Why is USA so low on Global Peace Index?

In 2023, the US was ranked 131 out of 163 on the Global Peace Index, which is pretty low. This is mainly because there’s been a rise in violent crimes like murders, and people are feeling less safe. Also, trust in the police and the justice system has gone down. All these factors have made the US’s peace score drop.

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