The Least Peaceful Countries in the World

The United States has fallen in peacefulness for two consecutive years. Newsweek
45. Turkmenistan. GPI: 2.283. Militarization: 2.159 (35/163).Igor Sasin/AFP

World peace has been the goal of almost all religions and spiritual leaders. However, a new report suggests that the dream of a conflict-free world is still a long way away.

The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) has ranked the world’s most peaceful countries, weighing their safety and security against ongoing conflict and militarization.

Each country is given a score called the Global Peace Index (GPI), which is calculated by looking at its level of societal safety and security; the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict; and the degree of militarization.

Their findings were pessimistic—global peacefulness decreased 0.27 percent in the past year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations. The IEP has found that global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.38 percent since 2008.

The report points at this decade’s outbreak of unresolved conflicts, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, which remained the world’s least peaceful area. Ninety-two countries deteriorated, while 71 countries improved.

But this fall in peacefulness wasn’t quarantined in any particular area. The four most peaceful regions—Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and South America—all recorded deteriorations. Spain has seen a particularly large drop, falling 10 places in the rankings, owing to internal political tensions and an increase in the impact of terrorism.

The Middle East and North Africa saw a slight improvement in overall score, though it still comes last out of all the regions. The report points to the conflict between Sunni and Shia nations in Yemen and the economic and diplomatic embargoes placed on Qatar as factors for unrest.

There’s more bad news closer to home. The United States has fallen in peacefulness for two consecutive years and is now at the worst level of any time since 2012. The report says this is thanks to the violence caused by increasingly partisan politics, a high incarceration rate and heavy militarization.

But where did the U.S. fall in the global list? Find out with our slideshow of the 45 least peaceful countries in the world.

Countries are ranked according to their GPI (the lower the score, the more peaceful the country). We have also given their militarization score and ranking. See also: The most peaceful countries in the world

44. Armenia. GPI: 2.287. Militarization: 1.980 (59/163).Karen Minasyan/AFP
43. United States. GPI: 2.3. Militarization: 3.049 (4/163).Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
42. Myanmar. GPI: 2.302. Militarization: 1.672 (118/163).Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
41. Kenya. GPI: 2.354. Militarization: 1.672 (119/163).Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
40. Zimbabwe. GPI: 2.326. Militarization: 2.049 (46/163).Jekesai Njikizana/AFP
39. South Africa. GPI: 2.328. Militarization: 1.698 (109/163).Marco Longari/AFP
38. Republic of the Congo. GPI: 2.343. Militarization: 2.256 (28/163).Marco Longari/AFP
37. Mauritania. GPI: 2.355. Militarization: 1.994 (56/163).AFP
36. Niger. GPI: 2.359. Militarization: 1.903 (67/163).Boureima Hama/AFP
35. Saudi Arabia. GPI: 2.417. Militarization: 2.705 (8/163).Fayez Nureldine/AFP
34. Bahrain. GPI: 2.437. Militarization: 1.989 (58/163).Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters
33. Iran. GPI: 2.439. Militarization: 1.996 (55/163).Atta Kenare/AFP

World peace has been the goal of almost all religions and spiritual leaders. However, a new report suggests that the dream of a conflict-free world is still a long way away.

The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) has ranked the world’s most peaceful countries, weighing their safety and security against ongoing conflict and militarization.

Each country is given a score called the Global Peace Index (GPI), which is calculated by looking at its level of societal safety and security; the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict; and the degree of militarization.

Their findings were pessimistic—global peacefulness decreased 0.27 percent in the past year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations. The IEP has found that global peacefulness has deteriorated by 2.38 percent since 2008.

The report points at this decade’s outbreak of unresolved conflicts, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, which remained the world’s least peaceful area. Ninety-two countries deteriorated, while 71 countries improved.

But this fall in peacefulness wasn’t quarantined in any particular area. The four most peaceful regions—Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and South America—all recorded deteriorations. Spain has seen a particularly large drop, falling 10 places in the rankings, owing to internal political tensions and an increase in the impact of terrorism.

The Middle East and North Africa saw a slight improvement in overall score, though it still comes last out of all the regions. The report points to the conflict between Sunni and Shia nations in Yemen and the economic and diplomatic embargoes placed on Qatar as factors for unrest.

There’s more bad news closer to home. The United States has fallen in peacefulness for two consecutive years and is now at the worst level of any time since 2012. The report says this is thanks to the violence caused by increasingly partisan politics, a high incarceration rate and heavy militarization.

But where did the U.S. fall in the global list? Find out with our slideshow of the 45 least peaceful countries in the world.

Countries are ranked according to their GPI (the lower the score, the more peaceful the country). We have also given their militarization score and ranking. See also: The most peaceful countries in the world