Global Peace Index 2021: World less peaceful due to COVID-19
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia. Afghanistan remains as the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq. Eight of the ten countries at the top of the GPI are located in Europe. This is the largest share of European countries to be ranked in the top ten list in the history of the index.
Fuelled by the pandemic the key negative trend this year is the global rise in civil unrest.
The largest regional deterioration in peacefulness occurred in North America, due to the increased levels of political instability, homicides, and violent demonstrations. Events such as the storming of the Capitol building and widespread protests across the United States in support of the Black Lives Matter movement increased civil unrest, political instability and the intensity of internal conflict in 2020.
Although Europe experienced a number of protest events last year, the region remains the most peaceful in the world; however, political instability rose across the continent, along with key indicators of Militarisation, including military expenditure, weapons imports, and nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities.