The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has released the 10 annual Global Peace Index (GPI) which ranks countries around the world according to their peaceful state of affairs in 2016.
In all, over 162 countries were ranked in the initiative of Australian technology entrepreneur Steve Killelea, founder of Integrated Research, and is endorsed by individuals such as Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama and archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Ghana scored 1.809 to place 44, three places above the United Kingdom who scored 1.830 to place 47 in the world.
The IEP tries to define positive peace in numerical terms, giving countries scores for a range of factors including “acceptance of the rights of others”, “low levels of corruption”, “the free flow of information” and a “well functioning government”.
The think tank used three gauges for the index namely: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization.
Factors such as the level of internal violence and crime within a country and external such as military expenditure and wars goes to influence the index.
The updated index is released each year at events in London, Washington DC and at the United Nations Secretariat in New York.
The GPI currently indicates Iceland, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, and New Zealand as being among the 10 countries which can be considered completely free from conflict.
Here are the most peaceful countries in the world.
1 Iceland score: 1.192
2 Denmark score: 1.246
3 Austria score: 1.278
4 New Zealand score: 1.287
5 Portugal score: 1.356
6 Czech Republic score: 1.360
7 Switzerland score: 1.370
8 Canada score: 1.388
9 Japan score: 1.395
10 Slovenia score: 1.408
According to the survey, 2015 was peaceful than it is in 2016 due to factors like the worsening conflict in the Middle East, the lack of a solution to the refugee crisis and an increase in deaths from major terrorist incidents.
The IEP also claims that these are the only 10 countries that are free from conflict; Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam.
The GPI is developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.