Each year, the Institute for Economics and Peace releases the Global Peace Index. This is a study of 163 independent nations and territories around the world, comprising approximately 99.7% of the world’s total population, that analyzes which nations are the most peaceful, as well as which are the most dangerous. The GPI evaluates a total of 23 indicators to compile the list, which can be sorted into three distinct categories: militarization, safety and security, and domestic and international conflict. The indicators are then combined into a single Peace Index Score.
Top 10 Most Peaceful Countries in the World (2021 Global Peace Index Score):
- Iceland — 1.10
- New Zealand — 1.253
- Denmark — 1.256
- Portugal — 1.267
- Slovenia — 1.315
- Austria — 1.317
- Switzerland — 1.323
- Ireland — 1.326
- Czech Republic — 1.329
- Canada — 1.330
As of 2021, the most peaceful country in the world is Iceland. This should come as no surprise to those familiar with the index, as Iceland has taken the top spot for 14 years in a row. Qualities that make it the most peaceful nation on Earth include low crime rates, robust education and welfare systems, fair pay for workers, and “non-existent” tension among the economic classes.
New Zealand is the second-most peaceful country worldwide, a rank it has enjoyed since 2014. New Zealand has remained in the top four most peaceful nations for the last ten years. As in Iceland, New Zealand's police do not carry personal firearms, as they do not see a need to. Violent crime is low in New Zealand; however, theft is relatively common, especially for tourists. New Zealand also scores well for earnings, jobs, and education.
The third most peaceful country in the nation is Denmark, which moves up two positions from 2020. Denmark ranks particularly well for political stability, freedom of press, income equality, and human rights, all of which contribute to a high level of peacefulness. The United States, in the wake of an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a tumultuous political transition, placed 122nd with a score of 2.337.