The Most Peaceful Countries in the World

Countries are ranked according to their GPI (the lower the score, the more peaceful the country).Getty Images
60. Vietnam. GPI: 1.905. Militarization: 2.163 (33/163).Getty Images

When the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) released its Global Peace Index in June, the results initially didn't look good.

The think tank revealed that global peacefulness decreased 0.27 percent in the past year, following the long-term trend that has seen a 2.38 percent decrease since 2008. The United States has fallen in peacefulness for two consecutive years and is now at a lowly number 121 on the list of 163 countries.

Yet amid the gloom, there were some positive stories. North America was the second most peaceful region thanks to Canada’s high rank, though the country fell one spot due to the Quebec City mosque shooting in January.

Syria, which has remained the least peaceful country in the world for the past five years, saw some improvement, thanks to the diminishing reach of the Islamic State militant group.

Iraq rose a place in the rankings as it recovers from years of conflict. This elevated the score for the Middle East and North Africa region, which nonetheless stayed the least peaceful region.

The end of World War II saw a shift away from Europe as the focus of global conflict, and it remained the most peaceful region in the world. However, it deteriorated in peacefulness for the third year straight, largely due to political instability.

The region’s biggest improvements were seen in Eastern Europe, while Western Europe wrestled with terrorist incidents and divisive partisan politics.

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.

The U.S. needs to improve its game to compete in the peacefulness rankings—it came in below Honduras and El Salvador. We’ve ranked the world’s top 60 most peaceful countries to give us a little inspiration for next year’s list.

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.

59. Timor-Leste. GPI: 1.895. Militarization: 1.709 (106/163).Getty Images
58. Montenegro. GPI: 1.893. Militarization: 1.526 (139/163).Getty Images
57. United Kingdom. GPI: 1.876. Militarization: 2.633 (10/163).Getty Images
56. Qatar. GPI: 1.869. Militarization: 2.129 (38/163).Getty Images
55. Indonesia. GPI: 1.853. Militarization: 1.516 (141/163).Getty Images
54. Serbia. GPI: 1.851. Militarization: 1.652 (123/163).Getty Images
52. Senegal. GPI: 1.849. Militarization: 1.498 (142/163).Getty Images
52. Albania. GPI: 1.849. Militarization: 1.721 (102/163).Getty Images
51. Tanzania. GPI: 1.837. Militarization: 1.440 (147/163).Getty Images
50. Panama. GPI: 1.826. Militarization: 1.625 (127/163).Getty Images
49. South Korea. GPI: 1.823. Militarization: 2.057 (44/163).Getty Images
48. Zambia. GPI: 1.822. Militarization: 1.685 (112/163).Getty Images