This is the most peaceful country in the world

Given the state of the news recently, it's easy to feel that the world is becoming increasingly dangerous—but how does this intuition relate to actual levels of global peace? A 2016 study analyzed how peaceful different countries were and found that Iceland was the most peaceful country on earth. Iceland also happens to be incredibly beautiful, and it’s closing the gender gap, so you might just want to pack your bags and set up camp in Reykjavik now.

This year, the Institute for Economics and Peace released its 10th annual Global Peace Index, which measures peace levels in 163 countries based on "23 qualitative and quantitative indicators," including perceived crime rates, incarceration levels, violent crime levels, terror the impact of terrorism, the number of people displaced and the funds used to finance military and United Nations peacekeeping operations. The study focused on three main factors: "a society's level of security; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarization."

Iceland has been named the “most peaceful country in the world” for the sixth consecutive year. Followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal. The United States ranks 103rd out of 163 countries for peace. Perhaps not surprisingly, Syria tops the list of the world's least peaceful countries, followed by South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

You can see the different security levels in different countries in the infographic above. On the Human Vision website, you can use an interactive version of the map, which allows you to see how different countries rank according to various indicators. For example, the map shows that while the United States is in the middle of the pack for overall peace, it ranks very high for political stability and, conversely, ranks very low for incarceration rates.

The report found that overall, the world did become less peaceful last year, with the overall Global Peace Index (GPI) score falling by 0.53%. Since 2015, 81 countries have actually become more peaceful and improved their GPI scores, but this improvement was offset by 79 countries' GPI scores falling, reflecting worsening peace conditions. The decrease in peace in these countries is greater than the increase in peace in other countries, resulting in an overall decrease in global GPI scores and "increased global peace inequality."

You can read the full Global Peace Index report here.

Image credit: Simon Schmidt/Unsplash; Global Peace Index/Facebook