121. Iraq. 120. Sudan. 119. Israel. 118. Russia. 117. Nigeria. 116. Colombia. 115. Pakistan. 114. Lebanon. 113. Cote d' Ivoire. 112. Angola. 111. Sri Lanka. 110. Uzbekistan. 109 India. 108. Myanmar. 107 Algeria. 106. Zimbabwe. 105. Thailand. 104. Uganda. 103. Ethiopia. 102. Venezuela. 101. Azerbaijan. 99. Philippines. 99. South Africa. 98. Honduras. 97. Iran.
These are the top 25 least peaceful countries, according to the Global Peace Index.
The United States missed the 25 most troubled countries list by one; we rank number 96. Norway ranks as the most peaceful country at number 1, followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and Japan.
The Global Peace Index is the brainchild of Steve Killelea, an Australian information technology entrepreneur turned Buddhist philanthropist. Reaching out from its Australian roots, the project has collected endorsements from Archbishop Tutu, Jimmy Carter, and the Dalai Lama.
A team of economists and social scientists created a statistical model of peacefulness in nations and found the data to assess it from all over the world. Some of the least developed countries of the world simply don't offer enough data to make it possible to include them, so the rankings would change somewhat if it were possible to add in such states as the Central African Republic and Nepal. A fuller discussion of methodology can be downloaded here. It's pretty interesting.
This is the sort of stuff that is easy to argue about -- and ridicule. But the GPI's conclusions are interesting:
A few of my own observations derived from a pleasant couple of hours clicking around in the data:
- It's hard for someone who remembers the other September 11, the 1973 coup in Chile overthrowing that nation's democracy, to believe that the South American country now ranks 16th in peacefulness.
- Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua all now rank as more peaceful than their tormentor of the 1980s, the United States.
- Despite the project's Australian origins, that country only come in number 25.
- As far as I can tell, no variable measuring either a country's impact on global sustainability or a country's vulnerability to climate change is captured anywhere in the rankings. Given the likely impact of resource and climate change conflicts, I think something is missing here.
- Five of the world's nuclear weapons possessing states -- Israel, Russia, Pakistan, India, and the United States -- are among the least peaceful quartile. China, the United Kingdom and France are somewhere in the middle of the rankings. North Korea is not ranked.