The world has changed over the last few years. It went through a pandemic and then into a global economic crisis. Now, it is in the midst of the Ukraine war. It can be useful for travelers to find out how safe a country before they travel.
These are some of the key points to remember:
- Eight of the 10 most secure countries in the world are located in Europe. This is the highest number of European countries ever to be among the top ten.
- Iceland remains at the top of the list, having been the most peaceful country on the planet since 2008. Unsurprisingly, Iceland ranks third for being the happiest nation in the world. The top five most secure countries in 2021 were New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Denmark and Portugal. The top ten most secure countries include Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Ireland.
- North America was the region with the most severe regional deterioration. There, civil unrest and more violent protests led to greater violence. The United States is now at number 122, one spot less than the previous two years. (The U.K. is number 33).
- The gap between peaceful and un-peaceful countries continues to widen.
- For the fourth year in a row, Afghanistan has been the most peaceful country in the world. Yemen, Syria and South Sudan round out the top five.
The research project analyzes 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators, and measures the state-of-peace across three domains.
- The level of Societal Security and Safety;
- The extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict;
- The degree of Militarisation
These indicators include incarceration and homicide rates, deaths due to internal conflict, perceptions of crime, and others. An average is used for an overall score – a country is more secure if it has a lower score.
According to the report, “the conflicts and crises which emerged over the past decade have started to abate” but that they were replaced by a new wave tension and uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as rising tensions among many major powers.
It remains to be seen what will happen to the high European scores in next year’s report, especially after the Ukraine war.