The measurement of how peaceful a country is very difficult to determine. However, the Institute of Economics and Peace, working through Vision of Humanity, have developed criteria that they apply to every country with a population over 1 million or a land mass over 20,000 square kilometers.
According to their index, 15 of the top 20 most peaceful countries in the world are in Europe, with the exceptions being New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Australia and Bhutan.
The overall state of the Global Peace Index (GPI) has worsened slightly over the last eight years, with many peaceful countries becoming more peaceful and less peaceful countries becoming even less peaceful. According to the index, 81 countries became more peaceful and 78 countries became less peaceful.
For those travelers who think about choosing peace when taking a trip, we’ve listed the most peaceful country for each continent.
1. Europe: Iceland (Global Rank: 1)
Iceland has over the last decade been at the top of the GPI or very close to it.
2. Oceania (Australian Continent): New Zealand (Global Rank: 4)
3. North and Central America: Canada (Global Rank: 7)
4. Asia: Japan (Global Rank: 8)
5. South America: Chile (Global Rank: 29)
6. Africa: Botswana (Global Rank: 31)
Mauritius (Global Rank: 25) is a more peaceful country than Botswana. While it is a small island east of Madagascar, it is often considered part of Africa, so we’re including it here.
In the index, the United States has a global rank of 94, up two places since 2014. This position is much lower than you may expect, but the rank takes into account the country’s military spending and involvement in overseas conflicts.
If you’ve seen the news, then it’s no surprise to you that the bottom of the list sadly has been populated by Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria for the last decade.
Zygmunt, or "Ziggy" to family and all of you friends, travels the world, breathing visual storytelling. He lives behind a camera lens capturing the inexpressible moments that, in summation, become our life's story and a larger narrative on the human experience. He started The Wayward Post with Christina to share amazing travel photography and to inspire other people to travel and do good in the world.
When he's not behind a camera, you'll find him moving to a spot... where he'll then use his camera. Indulge yourself in his beautiful work at Zygmunt Spray Photography and 500px. Follow him on Twitter.