The infographic above visualizes the world’s peacefulness for 2022. It used data of the Global Peace Index 2022 published by the Institute for Economics and Peace.
The Global Peace Index 2022 | The Institute for Economics and Peace
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is a global think tank headquartered in Sydney, Australia. It also holds branches in New York, Brussels, Harare, Mexico City, and the Hague. It is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization. IEP conducts data-driven research on the relationship between peace, business, and prosperity, aiming to promote a better understanding of the social and economic factors that develop a more peaceful society.
IEP publishes a number of reports on peace using statistical analysis, one of which is the Global Peace Index. The Global Peace Index 2022 is the 16th edition of the index. The index measures the level of peacefulness of 163 independent states and territories, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators. The 23 indicators are grouped into the following three domains: Safety and Security levels in the society, the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the degree of Militarization. Eleven indicators are in Safety and Security, six in Ongoing Conflict, and six in Militarization. The lower the score, the more peaceful the country is.
IEP published the 2022 edition in June 2022, reflecting an analysis of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. As a result of the military conflict of the two, Russia and Ukraine experienced significant deteriorations.
In 2022, Iceland (1.107), New Zealand (1.269), Ireland (1.288), Denmark (1.296), and Austria (1.3) were the most peaceful countries. By contrast, Afghanistan (3.554), Yemen (3.394), Syria (3.356), Russia (3.275), and South Sudan (3.184) were the least peaceful countries. Overall, the average global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.3% from 2021 to 2022.
Below, we will look into countries with the largest ups and downs in scores for the past year.
The Largest Improvements
The regions that became more peaceful over the past year were South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Europe, in descending order.
Four out of the five countries with the biggest improvements lay in the Middle East and North Africa. The five countries with the biggest improvements were Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Algeria.
Let’s look at some interesting findings from the latest report.
Libya | Score Changed -0.171 | 151st
Libya lowered its scores by 0.171 from 2021 to 2022, sitting at the 151th in the overall rankings with a score of 2.930. The country had previously experienced severe deteriorations due to political turmoil and civil war triggered by the Arab Spring. As a result, Libya still struggles particularly in the Ongoing Conflict domain.
However, the country had the biggest improvements in Safety and Security domain. This was mainly due to improvements in the violent demonstrations and refugee and IDPs (internally-displaced-persons) indicators.
In addition to this, the deaths from internal conflict indicator improved largely. The decrease in deaths was due to the ceasefire agreed between the two conflicting parties, the Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army.
Egypt | Score Changed -0.145 | 126th
Egypt achieved the second biggest improvements, lowering its scores by 0.145. Globally, Egypt now is the 126th most peaceful country with a score of 2.342.
Similarly to Libya, the country improved the most the Ongoing Conflict domain. Four out of the six indicators in this domain improved significantly. Moreover, the Safety and Security domain improved significantly.
Saudi Arabia | Score Changed -0.124 | 119th
Another Arab nation made the top 5 improvements list: Saudi Arabia. This oil-rich country lowered its scores by 0.124, positioning itself at 119th globally with a score of 2.288.
Just like the two above, the most significant improvements occurred in Ongoing Conflict and Safety and Security domains. However, the report points out there can be a catch in the improvements—the improvements could be a result of suppression of freedom of expression and assembly by the authorities, which could have contributed decrease in the violent demonstrations indicator.
The Philippines | Score Changed -0.113 | 125th
The Philippines is the third least peaceful country above Myanmar and North Korea in the Asia Pacific region. That said, the country recorded the largest improvements in the region, lowering its scored by 0.113. Overall, the Philippines is at the 125th in the GPI rankings.
Unlike the Arab nations above, the Philippines improved across all the three domains. Especially, its Safety and Security improved the most, driven by improvements in the homicide rate and political terror indicators.
The improvement in Militarization was slight. The improvement was mainly due to the country’s commitment to UN peacekeeping funding.
Algeria | Score Changed -0.112 | 109th
Algeria is the 9th most safest country in the Middle East and North Africa region. The country lowered its scores by 0.112 over the past year, sitting at 109th globally with a score of 2.146. This score is the highest score Algeria ever achieved.
12 out of the 23 indicators improved, of which the most significant was the weapons import indicator. The country also improved significantly in six indicators of the Safety and Security domain. These improvements were driven by the implementation of the new constitute under President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.
In 2022, Algeria received the lowest scores for the country in two indicators: the weapons import indicator at its lowest since 2009, and the intensity of internal conflict indicator at its lowest since 2008.
The Largest Deterioration
The regions that deteriorated the most over the past year were Russia and Eurasia, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America and the Caribbean. The obvious cause for deteriorations in the Russia and Eurasia region is due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The scores for North America can be volatile and subject to change as there is only two nations in the region.
Ukraine, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Russia, and Haiti deteriorated their peacefulness the most over the period.
Ukraine | Score Changed 0.413 | 153th
Ukraine deteriorated its peacefulness the most in the world, increasing its scored by 0.413. The country sits at the 153th in the overall GPI rankings with a score of 2.971. Ukraine deteriorated across all three domains.
Ukraine’s deteriorations intensified significantly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. It is worth noting that the cut-off date for data that the GPI used was 31st March 2022. This could mean the level of peacefulness in Ukraine and Russia might have further deteriorated by today.
Guinea | Score Changed 0.28 | 123rd
Of 44 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Guinea is ranked 30th with a score of 2.332. The country increased its scores by 0.280, ranked 123rd globally. Guinea was at its lowest level of peacefulness in 2022 since the beginning of the GPI.
Guinea’s most significant deterioration occurred in the Ongoing Conflict domain. The deteriorations were a result of the political unrest triggered by the 2020 constitutional referendum followed by the overthrow of the government.
Burkina Faso | Score Changed 0.243 | 146th
Burkina Faso deteriorated its GPI scores by 0.243. The country is at 146th place with a score of 2.786, which is also at its lowest level since the inception of the GPI in 2008.
Scores of the Ongoing Conflict and Militarization domains deteriorated the most significantly. Similarly to Guinea, the peace situation aggravated significantly in response to the coup in January 2022. As a result, the score of the intensity of internal conflict indicator hit the highest possible score in 2022.
It is worth mentioning that the country had another coup in September 2022, which indicates that Burkina Faso continue to be instable.
Russia | Score Changed 0.237 | 160th
Of the 163 countries considered, Russia was the third least peaceful country in the world in 2022. Russia’s GPI score was 3.275 with an increase by 0.237 over the past year. Russia’s level of peacefulness is also at its lowest since 2008.
The Ongoing Conflict and Safety and Security domains deteriorated significantly in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Although Militarization domain improved slightly, Russia continues to record the highest possible score of five for the 15 consecutive years for the following indicators: the nuclear and heavy weapons and the weapons exports indicators.
Haiti | Score Changed 0.181 | 115th
Haiti is another country whose level of peacefulness is at its lowest level since 2008. Ranked 115th globally, the country increased its scores by 0.181 to 2.254.
Multiple incidents aggravated Haiti’s situation over the past few years: the assassination of President President Jovenel Moïse amid the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2021 that deepened the country’s economic crisis as well as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in August 2021. Haiti’s Ongoing Conflict score deteriorated significantly due to intensified gang conflict.
Unfortunately, the global level of peacefulness deteriorated by 0.3% from 2021 to 2022. Furthermore, peacefulness has fallen with the average country score deteriorating by 3.2% in the past 14 years. The GPI report points out that countries tend to deteriorate much faster than they improve.
The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in 2022 affected peacefulness not only in the Russia and Eurasia region but also other regions, especially neighboring countries. Notably, the war has already caused negative changes in defense postures and policies, affecting supply chains and food security, which are crucial elements in establishment of peace.