Denmark named as second most peaceful country in the world
According to the 2014 Global Peace Index, Denmark is one of the most peaceful countries in the world, beaten only by Iceland.
This might surprise some given its involvement in several UN conflicts, but that only directly accounts for one of the 22 categories that the index assesses.
Moreover, the index is calibrated according to a country's peacefulness inside and outside its borders, with more emphasis on domestic peacefulness than overseas.
On a scale of zero to five, in which zero is the best score, Denmark did in fact score its worst score, 3.0, for the number of conflicts fought. But for overall militarisation, it only scored 1.1, while its involvement in international conflicts earned it just 1.4.
The study's categories include homicide, terror threats and perceived criminality in society, as well as examining societal factors such as literacy rates, GDP and social security (for which it scored 1.1).
Beating the Swedes
Sweden and Norway came in at 11th and 10th respectively, whilst the UK lagged behind at 42nd and the USA was placed 101st out of 162 countries.
Europe was by far the most peaceful region, accounting for 14 of the 20 most peaceful countries, while Syria replaced Afghanistan as the world’s least peaceful country.
The index also aims to identify countries that are at risk of destabilising over the next eight years, with Zambia and Nepal among those giving cause for concern.
A costly victory
Despite its high ranking, the study estimates that violence costs Denmark the equivalent of 5.485 billion US dollars (33.5 billion kroner) – but this pales in comparison to the USA’s 1,713 trillion dollar expenditure.
In order to beat Iceland to the number one spot, Denmark needs to reduce the number of international conflicts it is involved in and cut back considerably on money spent on violence.
Despite more countries being added to the index, Denmark has improved from 6th place in 2009 to keep the silver medal since 2011 – mostly due to its decreased militarisation in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.
The top ten most peaceful countries in the world:
- New Zealand
Ten countries that the index estimates are likely to get less peaceful over the next 8 years:
- Bosnia and Herzegovinia