Most peaceful countries in the world 2020

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The most peaceful countries in the world have been updated for 2020. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Global peacefulness has declined for the fourth time in the last five years, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report.

The GPI report is the only statistical measure of its kind and makes it possible to rank 163 independent states based on how peaceful they are. The 163 states cover over 99.7% of the world’s population and are assessed using 23 indicators, each banded or normalised on a scale of 1-5.

The index, produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), measures global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisation.

Graphic showing the largest improvements in peace
Vision of Humanity Azerbajian, Armenia, Bahrain, South Africa and Honduras showed the largest improvements

Peace is notoriously difficult to define. The IEP approaches it by attempting to assess the ‘harmony achieved by the absence of violence or the fear of violence’ in a society. More information on the methodology, including details of the 23 indicators used, can be found on page 84 of the report.

10 LEAST and most peaceful countries

Least peaceful

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Syria
  3. Iraq
  4. South Sudan
  5. Yemen
  6. Somalia
  7. Libya
  8. Congo (DRC)
  9. Central African Republic
  10. Russia

Key Findings

  • Iceland has maintained its position as the most peaceful country in the world. It has been ranked first every year since 2008.
  • Afghanistan is the world’s least peaceful country for the second consecutive year.
  • The average level of global peacefulness declined by 0.34% in 2020.
  • This is the ninth time in the last 12 years that global peacefulness has declined.
  • 81 countries improved and 80 recorded a deterioration over the past year.
  • Armenia (+15 places), Azerbaijan (+12), Bahrain (+9), Honduras (+4) and South Africa (+3) recorded the largest improvements in peace.
  • The gap separating the least and most peaceful countries continues to grow. Since 2008, the 25 least peaceful countries declined on average by 12.9%, while the 25 most peaceful countries improved by 2.1%.
  • Civil unrest has doubled since 2011 with 96 countries reporting violent demonstrations in 2019. Europe registered the most.
  • The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is home to four of the world’s 10 least peaceful countries and remains the world’s least peaceful region. Qatar (27th) is its highest-ranked country.
  • Europe remains the world’s most peaceful region, home to 13 of the 20 most peaceful countries.
  • It is widely anticipated that the economic impact of COVID-19 will negate years of socioeconomic development by negatively impacting civil rights, international relations, political stability, conflict and violence.

Most peaceful countries in the world ranked

The table below ranks 163 of the world’s countries by how they scored on the Global Peace Index. Some countries have been omitted due to lack of sufficient data.

RANKCOUNTRYSCORE
1Iceland1.078
2New Zealand1.198
3Portugal1.247
4Austria1.275
5Denmark1.283
6Canada1.298
7Singapore1.321
8Czech Rep.1.337
9Japan1.360
10Switzerland1.366
11Slovenia1.369
12Ireland1.375
13Australia1.386
14Finland1.404
15Sweden1.479
16Germany1.494
17Belgium1.496
17Norway1.496
19Bhutan1.501
20Malaysia1.525
21Netherlands1.528
22Romania1.541
23Mauritius1.544
24Hungary1.559
25Slovakia1.568
26Croatia1.615
27Qatar1.616
28Bulgaria1.628
29Poland1.657
30Estonia1.680
31Italy1.690
32Costa Rica1.691
33Botswana1.693
34Latvia1.700
35Uruguay1.704
36Lithuania1.705
37Taiwan1.707
38Spain1.712
39Kuwait1.723
39Mongolia1.723
41UAE1.752
42UK1.770
43Ghana1.776
44Zambia1.794
45Chile1.804
46Sierra Leone1.820
47Senegal1.824
48South Korea1.829
49Indonesia1.831
50Laos1.843
51Serbia1.846
52Tanzania1.850
53Namibia1.861
54Timor-Leste1.863
55Albania1.872
56Panama1.875
57Greece1.877
57Liberia1.877
59Malawi1.885
60The Gambia1.891
60Equatorial Guinea1.891
62North Macedonia1.900
63Madagascar1.905
64Cyprus1.920
64Vietnam1.920
66France1.930
67Eswatini1.934
68Oman1.941
69Montenegro1.944
70Kazakhstan1.948
71Moldova1.950
72Jordan1.958
73Nepal1.974
74Argentina1.978
75Paraguay1.991
76Dominican Rep.1.992
77Sri Lanka2.003
78Cambodia2.011
79Bosnia & Herz.2.040
80Jamaica2.041
81Rwanda2.049
82Guyana2.050
83Morocco2.057
84Peru2.066
85Kosovo2.070
86Bolivia2.074
86Cuba2.074
88Trinidad & Tobago2.078
89Guinea2.082
90Ecuador2.085
91Angola2.087
92Tunisia2.090
93Kyrgyz Rep.2.094
94Belarus2.111
95Gabon2.116
95Georgia2.116
97Bangladesh2.121
98Lesotho2.131
99Armenia2.135
99Mozambique2.135
101Guinea-Bissau2.157
101Papua New Guinea2.157
103Uzbekistan2.158
104China2.166
105Cote d' Ivoire2.169
106Benin2.182
107Tajikistan2.188
108Togo2.201
109Uganda2.202
110Bahrain2.209
111Haiti2.211
112Djibouti2.215
113El Salvador2.243
114Thailand2.245
115Guatemala2.267
116Turkmenistan2.276
117Algeria2.287
117Mauritania2.287
119Honduras2.288
120Azerbaijan2.300
121USA2.307
122Burkina Faso2.316
123South Africa2.317
124Rep. of the Congo2.343
125Kenya2.375
126Brazil2.413
127Myanmar2.424
128Saudi Arabia2.443
129Philippines2.471
130Egypt2.481
131Zimbabwe2.485
132Burundi2.506
133Ethiopia2.526
134Chad2.538
135Nicaragua2.553
136Eritrea2.567
137Mexico2.572
138Niger2.608
139India2.628
140Colombia2.646
141Cameroon2.650
142Iran2.672
143Palestine2.699
144Mali2.729
145Israel2.775
146Lebanon2.828
147Nigeria2.865
148Ukraine2.927
149Venezuela2.936
150Turkey2.959
151North Korea2.962
152Pakistan2.973
153Sudan3.043
154Russia3.049
155Central African Rep.3.237
156Dem. Rep. of the Congo3.243
157Libya3.258
158Somalia3.302
159Yemen3.411
160South Sudan3.447
161Iraq3.487
162Syria3.539
163Afghanistan3.644

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Lead image: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock

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