This is the fourteenth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. The GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness and presents the most comprehensive data driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.
The GPI covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace across three domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation. In addition to presenting the findings from the 2020 GPI, this year’s report includes an analysis of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on peace, including Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. It examines how the impact of the pandemic, and in particular its economic consequences will increase the risk of severe deteriorations in Positive Peace over the next few years, and also examines which countries are best placed to recover from the shock.
- The average level of global peacefulness deteriorated 0.34 per cent on the 2020 GPI. This is the ninth time in the last 12 years that global peacefulness has deteriorated.
- In the past year 80 countries recorded deteriorations in peacefulness, while 81 recorded improvements.
- The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remained the world’s least peaceful region. It is home to four of the ten least peaceful countries in the world, with no country from the region ranked higher than 27th on the GPI.
- Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, although it recorded a slight deterioration in peacefulness. The region is home to 13 of the 20 most peaceful countries, and only two European countries are not ranked in the top half of the index.
- Peacefulness improved on average on the Militarisation domain, but deteriorated on both the Ongoing Conflict and Safety and Security domains.
- Of the 23 GPI indicators, eight recorded an improvement, 12 had a deterioration, with the remaining three indicators not registering any change over the past year.
- After years of improvements in average military spending, there was an increase in military expenditure as a percentage of GDP for the first time in five years. Seventy-nine countries had deteriorations on this indicator.