Institute for Economics and Peace ranks the most peaceful countries

After the US killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and fears of war escalate, the likelihood seems greater than ever. These are the safest countries in the world if war does break out.

Iceland

Iceland has been crowned the most peaceful country in the world since 2008.

The tiny island doesn’t share any borders with other countries so makes it a safer option for protection.

According to the GPI: “Half of the countries in Europe, the world’s most peaceful region, have deteriorated in peacefulness since 2008. Iceland is the only Nordic country that is more peaceful now than in 2008."

(Photograph:AFP)

New Zealand

New Zealand, which has come in second place for the past two years, “maintained or improved its scores in 22 out of 23 indicators,” said the index, “but deteriorated in the impact of terrorism because of the 15 March 2019 white-nationalist terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 people were killed."

“Improvements in five other indicators across all three domains helped New Zealand maintain its rank as the second most peaceful country in the world." New Zealand’s remote location and distance from other countries makes it less likely to be attacked or invaded.

(Photograph:AFP)

Portugal

Portugal has risen two places in the peace index this year, pipping Austria to third place.

It was officially neutral during World War II and has kept out of foreign conflicts.

Portugal is one of the countries which has shown the largest improvement in Positive Peace since 2013, according to the Global Peace Index.

(Photograph:AFP)

Austria

Austria fell one place from the 2018 index. However, according to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), around 980,000 British nationals visit Austria each year. Most visits are trouble-free.

Terrorist attacks in Austria are classed as “can’t be ruled out.”

(Photograph:AFP)

Denmark

Denmark was one of 24 countries which had a reduction in terrorism impact in 2019.

Terrorist attacks in Denmark “can’t be ruled out,” states the FCO.

The country also contains the non politically aligned region of Greenland which is cut off geographically, making it a more attractive prospect in the event of a WW3.

(Photograph:AFP)

Canada

Unlike its North American neighbour, the USA, Canada remains one of the ten most peaceful countries in the world.

In 2019 Canada showed a small improvement in overall score, according to the GPI.

“Militarisation improved slightly in the region, based on fewer weapons imports into the US and reduced weapons exports and nuclear and heavy weapons capabilities in Canada,” said the report.

(Photograph:AFP)

Singapore

Singapore is up two places in the 2019 peace index. “Around 450,000 British tourists visit Singapore every year. Most visits are trouble-free,” said the FCO.

Terrorists are deemed “likely” to try to carry out attacks in Singapore.

(Photograph:AFP)

Slovenia

Slovenia is also up two places on the previous 2018 report.

The European country has “no recent history of terrorism,” according to the FCO.

(Photograph:AFP)

Japan

Japan along with Australia, Portugal and New Zealand had disparities in perceptions of safety (i.e. feeling safe walking alone) of 22 percentage points or more, ranking within the top 10 per cent of surveyed countries in terms of the largest disparities between men and women.

Japan also has a single natural hazard score of ten, the maximum level of risk within the INFORM index (a way to understand and measure the risk of a humanitarian crisis).

However, it has the tenth highest coping capacity of all recorded countries.

(Photograph:AFP)

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has fallen a whopping three places on the peace index from 2018 to 2019.

Nevertheless, Over 300,000 British nationals visit the Czech Republic every year, according to the FCO, and most visits are trouble-free.

The FCO adds: “Although there is no recent history of terrorism in the Czech Republic, attacks can’t be ruled out.”

(Photograph:AFP)