The 2023 edition of the Global Peace Index released by The Institute for Economics and Peace has found that global peacefulness has declined for the 13th time in the last 15 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 79 countries while the situation has improved in 84.
Iceland was once again the top-ranked country for peace in 2023, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark, Austria and Singapore. By contrast, the United States only managed to land in spot 131. Afghanistan was at the very bottom of the index, preceded by Yemen and Syria.
Kazakhstan, Oman and Cote d'Ivore gained the most ranks this year compared to 2022. Kazakhstan had been on the most deteriorated list last year after violent unrest, but gained back its losses. Eswatini, on the other hand, appeared among the biggest losers for the second year in a row among violence that is accompanying anti-monarchy protests. While not among the biggest risers, India appeared in the "medium" category after having previously been listed as "low".
The current conflict in Ukraine had the country fall 17 spots into rank 153 in 2022 and further into rank 157 in 2023. As Ukraine had been ranked poorly for years due to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine that preceeded the Russian invasion, other countries deteriorated more on the index. The nations losing the most ranks in 2023 were Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea and Sri Lanka. The latter country lost its status as one of 2022's fast climbers as an successful security and anti-terrorism agenda was followed by economic decline, violent protests and the ouster of the government last July.