Europe has become more peaceful every year over the last four years, according to the 2015 Global Peace Index. The world’s three most peaceful countries, Iceland, Denmark and Austria, are all European. In fact, 15 of the top 20 most peaceful countries are in Europe.
Many countries in Europe benefited from less homicides and lower military expenditure, as well as the withdrawal of NATO-forces from Afghanistan in December 2014. The UK rose eight places as a result of its exist from the Afghan mission.
There were several countries that saw large improvements in peace. Greece is one of the biggest risers in the region, jumping 22 places on the Global Peace Index to rank 61st of 162 countries. This is largely thanks to a reduction in violent crime and political terror.
Portugal also saw an increase in peace, now ranking 11th globally. This can be attributed to the reduction in political instability following the country’s exit from the EU/IMF economic and financial adjustment programme. Similar to Spain, Portugal also saw less violent demonstrations, largely due to the end of anti-austerity protests.
The Balkan countries continued to improve in peace, with a reduction in military expenditure and political instability.
Explore the state of peace on the interactive Global Peace Index map and download the 2015 Global Peace Index Report for a full analysis of the data.Related Articles
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.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.