Global Peace Index 2023

The Institute for Economics and Peace, in partnership with Vision of Humanity, has released the 17th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI). The GPI uses qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure the “state of peace” in 163 countries. The average level of global peacefulness continued to deteriorate for the ninth consecutive year. Holding the position since 2008, Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world; Afghanistan continues be the least peaceful country for the sixth consecutive year.

Global and regional conflicts have played a significant role in the decline of peacefulness, with conflict related deaths at an all-time high for this century. Ukraine fell to 157th place in peacefulness as the war with Russia continues and a death toll that rose to above 80,000 in 2022. Violence also had a major impact on the global economy at a cost of $17.5 trillion or nearly 13% of the world’s GDP [gross domestic product. Ukraine experienced an economic impact equivalent to 64 percent of its GDP.

The GPI report includes a look at trends in global peace, conflict, and the Positive Peace Index (PPI). Positive Peace “is the attitudes, institutions, and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.” Countries that score well on this index are more likely to remain stable, adapt, or recover from crises.

The report calls for an urgent systemic response to building peace, noting,

“The gap between the most and least peaceful countries continues to grow, and although many measures of militarisation have improved over the past fifteen years, the proliferation of cheaper advanced military technologies, increasing geopolitical competition, and an underlying current of political instability in many countries means that a continuing deterioration of global peacefulness seems likely.”

Reports from previous years are available in the HSDL’s Global Peace Index Series. For more information on related topics, visit the HSDL In Focus topic on Global Terrorism.

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