In the latest results just published Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark also sit in the top five most peaceful rankings. Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years. Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia comprise the remaining least peaceful countries.

Portugal dropped from 3rd overall position to 4th, but remains third place in Europe.

This is the twelfth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.

The GPI covers 99.7% of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace using three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.

The results of the 2018 GPI find that the global level of peace has deteriorated by 0.27% in the last year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations.

Spain recorded the fourth highest overall deterioration in peacefulness of any country, and the largest in the European region. It has dropped out of the 20 most peaceful countries, falling to 30th in the rankings, and is now ranked amongst the bottom half of the European region.

The deterioration in peacefulness in Spain has been driven by two trends: firstly, an increase in the terrorism impact indicator and secondly, a deterioration in the political environment owing to unrest over possible secession by the Catalonia region. 2017 saw a number of high profile terrorist attacks in Spain, most notably the August attack on the La Rambla pedestrian mall in Barcelona, which killed 14 people and injured over a hundred more.