This is the fifteenth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.
- The average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07 per cent in the 2021 Global Peace Index. Although a relatively small deterioration, this is the ninth time in the last 13 years that global peacefulness has deteriorated.
- In the past year, 87 countries recorded an improvement in peacefulness, while 73 countries recorded a deterioration. Three countries recorded no change in their overall score.
- The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remained the world’s least peaceful region. It is home to three of the five least peaceful countries in the world. However, it recorded the largest regional improvement over the past year.
- Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world. The region is home to eight of the ten most peaceful countries, and no country in Europe is ranked outside the top half of the index.
- Peacefulness improved on average for the Ongoing Conflict domain, but deteriorated in both the Militarisation and Safety and Security domains. This was the first time that the Militarisation domain had the largest deterioration.
- Of the 23 GPI indicators, 11 recorded an improvement, ten had a deterioration, and two recorded no change over the past year.
- There was an increase in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP for the second straight year, with 105 countries deteriorating on this indicator, exacerbated in part by falling economic activity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Despite the overall deterioration on the Safety and Security domain, there were a number of indicators that improved, including the internal conflict and terrorism impact indicators. Deaths from terrorism have been decreasing for the past six years.
- The pandemic had a significant impact on levels of conflict and violence. The level of civil unrest rose in 2020, fuelled in large part by responses to government's measure designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Over 5,000 pandemic related violent events were recorded between January 2020 and April 2021.