Hey Brandeis,

The 2011 edition of the Global Peace Index just came out! It is an annual study compiled by the Institute of Economics and Peace. The GPI ranks 153 nations measuring the absence or presence of violence in society. The base conclusions on 23 indicators, such as military spending and respect for human rights.

Sadly, this year violence has increased around the world. You can read the rankings here. Or you can check out the full report. Iceland ranked #1, closely followed by New Zealand, Japan, and Denmark and the 4 most peaceful countries in the world. The US ranks #82, Israel is #145, and the least peaceful country in the world is Somalia.

Here are the main findings taken from the GPI report:

– The world is less peaceful for the third straight year
– Due to an increased threat of terrorist attacks in 29 nations
– A greater likelihood of violent demonstrations in 33 countries
– Arab Spring unrest heralds biggest ever change in rankings, Libya tumbles 83 spots
– Iceland bounces back from economic woes to top ranking
– Somalia displaces Iraq as world’s least peaceful nation
– Violence cost the global economy more than $8.12 trillion in 2010
– US peacefulness shows minimal change

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