Six of out the 10 most peaceful countries in the world are European, nonprofit says
Syria is the least peaceful, and Libya deteriorated the most over the past year
The United States remains in the bottom half of the group's rankings
In search of peace? Maybe it’s time to move to Iceland.
According to the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace, the thinly populated island in the midst of the North Atlantic has retained its place as the most peaceful country in the world.
The institute released its Global Peace Index for 2015 this week, which ranks 162 nations around the globe based on factors like the level of violent crime, involvement in conflicts and the degree of militarization.
Six out of the top 10 most peaceful countries were European, with Denmark and Austria holding the second and third spots.
“Europe maintained its position as the most peaceful region in the world, supported by a lack of domestic and external conflicts,” the report said.
But that glowing review is helped by the fact that violence-plagued Ukraine is lumped into a different region: Russia and Eurasia.
U.S. in bottom half of rankings
Ukraine suffered the second biggest deterioration in its rating over the past year as pro-Russian separatists clashed with government forces.
The only country that fared worse was Libya, which has “sunk into a low-level civil war between Islamist and nationalist groups,” the report said.
War-ravaged Syria remained at the bottom of the rankings. And Iraq, the other country where the Islamic militant group ISIS holds large areas of territory, dropped below South Sudan and Afghanistan to second last place.
The United States is in the bottom half of the index, scoring badly in terms of militarization, homicides and fear of violence. Its ranking improved somewhat from a year earlier, though, rising from 101st place to 94th.