This is the twelfth edition of the ’Global Peace Index (GPI), which encompasses 163 independent states and territories in accordance with their level of peace. The GPI is the main global measure of the world produced by the ’Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP). This report presents an integral analysis based on up-to-date data regarding trends in the area of peace, its economic value and the way it is developed within peaceful societies.
The GPI covers 99.7% of the world’s population, uses 23 qualitative and quantative indicators from highly respected sources and measure the level of peace based on three focal points: the level of security and the security of the society in question; the scope of continuity of internal and international conflicts, and the level of militarisation.
The results of the GPI in 2018 reveal that the global level of peace has deteriorated by 0.27 per cent over the last year, which means that it is the fourth consecutive year of deteriorating data. It went down in 92 countries, whereas 71 have improved.
The economic impact of violence increased by 2% in 2017 because of the increase in conflicts and the cost of internal security, with bigger increases in China, Russia and South Africa. Since 2012, the economic impact of violence has increased by 16%, coinciding with the start of the Syrian war and the increase in violence with the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
The average level of global peace has gone down for the fourth consecutive year and fell by 0.27% in 2017. The following are noteworthy world trends that led to these results:
- The Middle East and the north of Africa were the world’s least peaceful regions. They have four of the ten least peaceful countries in the world.
- Europe, the most peaceful region in the world since the start of the index, deteriorated for the third consecutive year, because of the increase in political instability, the impact of terrorism and the perception of crime.
- In Europe, the referendum for the independence of Catalonia led to an increase in political tension, which caused Spain to fall ten places in the ranking. Fourteen European countries now have a higher internal conflict rating.
- Military expenditure as a percentage of the GDP continued to fall, with 88 countries showing an increase as opposed to the 44 that showed a drop.
- Since then, average military expenditure of a country has gone down slightly: from 2.28 per cent of the GDP to 2.22 per cent in 2018, with 102 countries that have spent less on the army as a percentage of their GDP over the decade.