Additional information on the Global Peace Index
The Global Peace Index is an effort by the Institute for Economics and Peace to measure the degree of peacefulness in countries across the global and rank them accordingly. The list begun in 2007 and has since been published annually. The index includes a number of indicators relating to both domestic and international peacefulness. In regards to international affairs the majority of indicators relate to involvement in military conflict or the efforts of the state in question to resolve conflict and ensure the safety of those affected. For example those states who give more financial support to UN peacekeeping missions are considered to be more peaceful while those who have a higher military expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) are considered to be less peaceful. The United States never reached the top 20 of the list, in part due to it having a high level of military spending as a percentage of GDP.
Domestic indicators focus on both the amount of violence and crime in addition to incarceration rates. Again, the United States fails to reach levels akin to other countries. The country’s high incarceration rates in comparison to other OEDC countries are an area where the United States could target to improve its ranking. Moreover, comparison of the number of deaths from gun violence with American citizens losing their lives at the hands of terrorism demonstrates the relatively low degree of peacefulness in the United States goes beyond the country’s foreign policy.