The 2020 edition of the Global Peace Index released by The Institute for Economics and Peace has found that global peacefulness has declined for the ninth time in the last 12 years. It ranks peace levels using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators across 163 independent states and territories, covering 99.7 percent of the world's population. This time around, peace has deteriorated in 80 countries while the situation has improved in 81. The index states that levels of peace around the world have declined 2.5 percent since 2008.
While conflicts and crises that emerged over the past decade have started to abate, they have been replaced by a wave of tension and uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic. Iceland is once again the top-ranked country for peace in 2020, a position it has held since 2008, and it is joined at the top of the index by New Zeland, Austria, Portugal and Denmark. By contrast, the United States only manages 121st. Afghanistan is at the very bottom of the index, followed by Syria and Iraq.