They are the most peaceful countries in the world
First published on Conde Nast Traveler United States
Safety is an important factor when choosing a destination, whether you are a solo traveler or an expat. But how do you know which are the safest countries in the world? With outdated reputations and misinformation circulating, it can be difficult to determine which places offer (and don’t) a sense of safety.
To help quantify the subject of security, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has published its annual report Global Peace Index (GPI), a measure based on global peace data. This year’s results show that the average level of peace deteriorated by 0.07% compared to the previous year, which is not surprising, given how much COVID-19 has visibly upset the life of almost everyone in the world.
The report notes that while some factors (like the death toll from terrorism) have improved over time, the number of COVID-related violent incidents – riots in response to the lockdown, targeted physical assaults, etc. – from 2020 to 2021 was off the charts. In fact, at least 158 countries recorded one or more violent incidents directly linked to the pandemic during this period.
Despite current events, the latest GPI rankings look quite similar to previous years (hint: the country in first place has remained the same for the past 13 years). To assemble the list, the IEP ranks 163 nations using three domains of peace: level of societal safety and security, extent of ongoing national and international conflict, and degree of militarization. In these areas, the organization examines 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators, including incarceration rates, homicide rates, deaths from internal conflict, perceptions of crime, and more. The scores are then averaged for an overall composite – the lower the score, the safer the space.
Below, you’ll find the 10 most peaceful countries in the world, along with each country’s score (1=most peaceful, 5=least peaceful).
This article has been updated with new information since its original publication date.
Although larger than its southern neighbor, Canada rank much higher than the United States. The country has reported a staggering increase in hate crimes (especially against Asians) and its economy has plunged during the pandemic, but its score has actually improved overall from a year ago, thanks to rates of incarceration and lower arms exports per capita.
9. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has achieved excellent results in terms of low crime rate, low military spending and low impact of terrorism. Even pickpocketing isn’t a big problem in big cities like Prague, making it a safe place to visit.
Ireland is a new addition to the top ten this year, climbing three places despite violent anti-lockdown protests. The country’s relatively low crime rates, good economy and friendly residents more than offset the echoes of the pandemic.
Although not in the top ten in 2020, Switzerland rose to the top this year due to a low crime rate and very high per capita income. It has performed poorly in terms of arms exports – in fact, it ranks among the ten largest arms exporters per capita for the past five years – but it is clearly safe enough in other areas. to land in such a high ranking.
Austria experienced the second largest deterioration in peace in Europe (after Greece) from 2020 to 2021, although it remains one of the safest countries in the world. The fall of peace was the result of a November 2020 terrorist attack in Vienna, although the government has responded quickly with new legislation that monitors terrorist offenders much more closely. The country continues to get high marks for a healthy business environment and good relations with its neighbors.