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Research ranks US as more violent than Serbia; Iceland rated most peaceful
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Tue May 20, 10:10 AM



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By Meera Selva, The Associated Press

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LONDON - Canada is among the more peaceful countries in the world, but still a ways from the top, according to the Global Peace Index released Tuesday by Britain's Economist Intelligence Unit.


The index, which ranks a number of internal and external factors, found Scandinavian countries among the most peaceful, taking the top three spots.


Canada came in at No. 11 on the list, one spot ahead of Switzerland and two ahead of Sweden, which came in 13th.


That compared with Britain at 49th spot and the United States at 97, a ranking that had it behind countries such as Kuwait, Nicaragua and Libya.


The index, now in its second year, ranks 140 countries according to their relative states of peace, based on factors such as military expenditure and respect for human rights, the homicide rate and other things.


The U.S. ranking was one place lower than last year and way below countries such as Costa Rica, Madagascar and Chile.


This year, Iceland was selected the most peaceful place, beating last year's winner Norway, which came in third. Denmark was No. 2.


Israel, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq were at the bottom of the list.


The idea for the index came from Steve Killelea, an Australian businessman and philanthropist who wanted to identify just what creates a peaceful country.


He asked the Economist Intelligence Unit to look at a range of variables, from levels of homicides per 100,000 people - which drags down America and boosts Denmark - to corruption and access to primary education.


"The U.S. does so badly because has the highest proportion of jailed people in the world. And it has high levels of homicide and high potential for terrorist attacks," Killelea told The Associated Press. "Its overall score is a reflection of that. The index is not making any moral statements by the ranking."


Gavin Hayman, director of campaigns for Global Witness, a non-governmental organization that lobbies against corruption and human rights abuse, said the results were slightly skewed.


"The people who did this study only look at peace and the absence of war, and this approach may throw up some perverse readings," he said.


"The U.S. has done some nasty things geopolitically, and it ranks poorly because of its high military spending, but that's a little unfair as they are the ones that keep the world's waterways free, and play a role in protecting global assets," Hayman said.


Andrew Williamson, global director of client research at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said he hoped the index would be used by other researchers to look into why some countries stay more peaceful than others.


"The index is trying to measure the absence of peace. We are not looking at explanatory factors why some countries are more peaceful than others. We are inviting others to do this analysis themselves," Williamson said.


The Top 10 most peaceful countries:

1. Iceland

2. Denmark

3. Norway

4. New Zealand

5. Japan.

6. Ireland

7. Portugal

8. Finland

9. Luxembourg

10. Austria


http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080520/world/peace_index
 

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"Peace Index" ... seems like an joke measure along the lines of the "Happiness Index". I wouldn't take it too seriously.
 

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Again people are reading to much into these figures like they do the "best city/country in the world to live".
A one point difference doesn't make any difference. These figures are meant to be used as guidelines which they do very well. The ten countries mentioned seem to make perfect sense to be but people who look at every single rating every year don't know how to interpret statistics.
If next year Denmark moves into number one spot and Iceland drops to number two that doesn't mean Iceland is going to hell in a hand basket or even if it drops to number 9.
 

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full list: http://www.visionofhumanity.org/gpi/results/rankings/2008/

Rank Country Score
001. Iceland 1.176
002. Denmark 1.333
003. Norway 1.343
004. New Zealand 1.350
005. Japan 1.358
006. Ireland 1.410
007. Portugal 1.412
008. Finland 1.432
009. Luxembourg 1.446
010. Austria 1.449
011. Canada 1.451
012 Switzerland 1.465
013. Sweden 1.468
014. Germany 1.475
015. Belgium 1.485
016. Slovenia 1.491
017. Czech Republic 1.501
018. Hungary 1.576
019. Chile 1.576
020. Slovakia 1.576
021. Uruguay 1.606
022. Netherlands 1.607
023. Hong Kong 1.608
024. Romania 1.611
025. Oman 1.612
026. Bhutan 1.616
027. Australia 1.652
028. Italy 1.653
029. Singapore 1.673
030. Spain301.683
031. Poland311.687
032. South Korea321.691
033. Qatar 1.694
034. Costa Rica 1.701
035. Estonia 1.702
036. France 1.707
037. Vietnam 1.720
038. Malaysia381.721
039. Latvia 1.723
040. Ghana 1.723
041. Lithuania 1.723
042. United Arab Emirates 1.745
043. Madagascar 1.770
044. Taiwan 1.779
045. Kuwait 1.786
046. Botswana 1.792
047. Tunisia 1.797
048. Panama 1.797
049. United Kingdom 1.801
050. Mozambique 1.803
051. Laos 1.810
052. Cyprus 1.847
053. Zambia 1.856
054. Greece 1.867
055. Gabon 1.878
056. Argentina 1.895
057. Bulgaria 1.903
058. Tanzania 1.919
059. Nicaragua 1.919
060. Croatia 1.926
061. Libya 1.927
062. Cuba 1.954
063. Morocco 1.954
064. Equatorial Guinea 1.964
065. Jordan 1.969
066. Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.974
067. China 1.981
068. Indonesia 1.983
069. Egypt 1.987
070. Paraguay 1.997
071. Senegal 2.011
072. Kazakhstan 2.018
073. Malawi 2.024
074. Bahrain 2.025
075. Syria 2.027
076. Rwanda 2.030
077. Namibia 2.042
078. Bolivia 2.043
079. Albania 2.044
080. Peru802.046
081. Burkina Faso 2.062
082. Dominican Republic 2.069
083. Moldova 2.091
084. Ukraine 2.096
085. Serbia 2.110
086. Bangladesh 2.118
087. Macedonia 2.119
088. Mongolia 2.155
089. El Salvador 2.163
090. Brazil 2.168
091. Cambodia 2.179
092. Cameroon 2.182
093. Mexico 2.191
094. Belarus 2.194
095. Papua New Guinea 2.224
096. Jamaica962.226
097. United States of America 2.227
098. Trinidad and Tobago 2.230
099. Mali 2.238
100. Ecuador 2.274
101. Azerbaijan 2.287
102. Turkmenistan 2.302
103. Guatemala 2.328
104. Honduras 2.335
105. Iran 2.341
106. Yemen 2.352
107. India 2.355
108. Saudi Arabia 2.357
109. Haiti 2.362
110. Angola 2.364
111. Uzbekistan 2.377
112. Algeria 2.378
113. Philippines 2.385
114. Uganda 2.391
115. Turkey 2.403
116. South Africa 2.412
117. Congo (Brazzaville) 2.417
118. Thailand 2.424
119. Kenya 2.429
120. Mauritania 2.435
121. Ethiopia 2.439
122. Cote d'Ivoire 2.451
123. Venezuela 2.505
124. Zimbabwe 2.513
125. Sri Lanka 2.584
126. Myanmar 2.590
127. Pakistan 2.694
128. Democratic Republic of the Congo 2.707
129. Nigeria 2.724
130. Colombia 2.757
131. Russia 2.777
132. Lebanon 2.840
133. North Korea 2.850
134. Central African Republic 2.857
135. Chad 3.007
136. Israel 3.052
137. Afghanistan 3.126
138. Sudan 3.189
139. Somalia 3.293
140. Iraq 3.514
 

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An index is an approximation, but it seems to be a quite accurate ranking. All countries seem to be placed where one would expect them to be.
 
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