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Ranked: most peaceful countries in the world 2021

Ranked: most peaceful countries in the world 2021

The most peaceful countries in the world have been updated for 2021. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Once again, Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.

However, the world is a less peaceful place as civil unrest and political instability has increased due to the global pandemic according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report.

Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth year in a row, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq.

The GPI report is the only statistical measure of its kind and makes it possible to rank 163 independent states based on how peaceful they are. The 163 states cover over 99% of the world’s population and are assessed using 23 indicators, each banded or normalised on a scale of 1-5.

most peaceful countries in the world 2020
ANDREW MAYOVSKYY/SHUTTERSTOCK Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world

The index, produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), measures global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisation.

Peace is notoriously difficult to define. The IEP approaches it by attempting to assess the “harmony achieved by the absence of violence or the fear of violence” in a society. More information on the methodology, including details of the 23 indicators used, can be found on page 75 of the report.

10 LEAST and most peaceful countries

Demonstrators in the UK
Brian Duffy/Shutterstock Civil unrest has risen due to the pandemic

Key Findings

  • Iceland has maintained its position as the most peaceful country in the world. It has been ranked first every year since 2008.
  • Afghanistan is the world’s least peaceful country for the fourth consecutive year.
  • The average level of global peacefulness declined by 0.07% in 2021.
  • The average level of global peacefulness declined by 2% since 2008.
  • This is the 10th time in the last 13 years that global peacefulness has declined.
  • Civil unrest has risen globally by 10% with Belarus recording the largest deterioration.
  • There were 14,871 violent demonstrations, protests and riots recorded globally in 2020.
  • The death toll from terrorism has declined for the sixth consecutive year.
  • 87 countries improved and 73 recorded a deterioration over the past year.
  • Ukraine (+6 places), Iraq (+2), Poland (+9), Vietnam (+19) and North Macedonia (+11) recorded the largest improvements in their peace scores.
  • Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world and is home to eight of the 10 most peaceful countries.
  • North America recorded the largest deterioration in 2021, with the average level of peacefulness in the region falling by 1.8%.
  • Despite recording the largest improvement in peacefulness in 2021, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remains the least peaceful.
map of the most peaceful countries in the world 2021
Vision of Humanity Mapping the most peaceful countries

World’s Most peaceful countries – ranked

The table below ranks 163 of the world’s countries by how they scored on the Global Peace Index. Some countries have been omitted due to lack of sufficient data.

Rank Country Score
1 Iceland 1.100
2 New Zealand 1.253
3 Denmark 1.256
4 Portugal 1.267
5 Slovenia 1.315
6 Austria 1.317
7 Switzerland 1.323
8 Ireland 1.326
9 Czech Rep. 1.329
10 Canada 1.330
11 Singapore 1.347
12 Japan 1.373
13 Finland 1.402
14 Norway 1.438
15 Sweden 1.460
16 Australia 1.470
17 Croatia 1.480
17 Germany 1.480
19 Hungary 1.494
20 Belgium 1.496
21 Netherlands 1.506
22 Bhutan 1.510
23 Malaysia 1.515
24 Poland 1.524
25 Romania 1.530
26 Slovakia 1.557
27 Bulgaria 1.577
28 Mauritius 1.592
29 Qatar 1.605
30 Estonia 1.612
31 Spain 1.621
32 Italy 1.652
33 UK 1.658
34 Taiwan 1.662
35 Latvia 1.686
36 Kuwait 1.688
37 Lithuania 1.689
38 Ghana 1.715
39 Costa Rica 1.735
40 North Macedonia 1.744
41 Botswana 1.753
42 Indonesia 1.783
42 Mongolia 1.783
44 Serbia 1.797
45 Laos 1.809
46 Sierra Leone 1.813
47 Uruguay 1.817
48 Albania 1.824
49 Chile 1.831
50 Vietnam 1.835
51 Montenegro 1.847
52 UAE 1.848
53 The Gambia 1.853
54 Senegal 1.864
55 France 1.868
56 Timor-Leste 1.873
57 South Korea 1.877
58 Tanzania 1.892
59 Malawi 1.909
59 Moldova 1.909
61 Cyprus 1.912
62 Equatorial Guinea 1.915
63 Jordan 1.916
64 Panama 1.919
65 Namibia 1.927
66 Greece 1.932
67 Kazakhstan 1.936
68 Argentina 1.945
69 Eswatini 1.955
70 Madagascar 1.963
71 Zambia 1.964
72 Bosnia Herz. 1.970
73 Oman 1.982
74 Jamaica 1.992
75 Paraguay 1.997
76 Kyrgyzstan 1.998
76 Liberia 1.998
78 Cambodia 2.008
79 Morocco 2.015
80 Angola 2.017
80 Kosovo 2.017
82 Dominican Rep. 2.024
83 Rwanda 2.028
84 Trinidad & Tobago 2.029
85 Nepal 2.033
86 Peru 2.034
87 Cuba 2.042
88 Ecuador 2.044
89 Georgia 2.054
90 Uzbekistan 2.062
91 Bangladesh 2.068
92 Guinea 2.069
93 Gabon 2.074
94 Armenia 2.075
95 Sri Lanka 2.083
96 Benin 2.093
97 Tajikistan 2.095
98 Tunisia 2.108
99 Guinea-Bissau 2.113
100 China 2.114
100 Guyana 2.114
102 Bahrain 2.121
103 Cote d’Ivoire 2.123
103 Mozambique 2.123
105 Bolivia 2.140
106 Djibouti 2.146
107 Papua New Guinea 2.149
108 Haiti 2.151
109 Turkmenistan 2.154
110 El Salvador 2.184
111 Guatemala 2.195
112 Lesotho 2.202
113 Thailand 2.205
114 Uganda 2.219
115 Togo 2.239
116 Kenya 2.254
117 Belarus 2.285
118 Mauritania 2.290
119 Rep. Congo 2.291
120 Algeria 2.310
121 Azerbaijan 2.334
122 USA 2.337
123 South Africa 2.344
124 Honduras 2.371
125 Saudi Arabia 2.376
126 Egypt 2.397
127 Philippines 2.417
128 Brazil 2.430
129 Burundi 2.434
130 Nicaragua 2.445
131 Myanmar 2.457
132 Chad 2.489
133 Zimbabwe 2.490
134 Burkina Faso 2.527
135 India 2.553
136 Eritrea 2.555
137 Niger 2.589
138 Palestine 2.610
139 Ethiopia 2.613
140 Mexico 2.620
141 Iran 2.637
142 Ukraine 2.660
143 Israel 2.669
144 Colombia 2.694
145 Cameroon 2.700
146 Nigeria 2.712
147 Lebanon 2.797
148 Mali 2.813
149 Turkey 2.843
150 Pakistan 2.868
151 North Korea 2.923
152 Venezuela 2.934
153 Sudan 2.936
154 Russia 2.993
155 Central African Rep. 3.131
156 Libya 3.166
157 DR Congo 3.196
158 Somalia 3.211
159 Iraq 3.257
160 South Sudan 3.363
161 Syria 3.371
162 Yemen 3.407
163 Afghanistan 3.631

More rankings and articles can be found in our remote work area:

► Most dangerous countries in the world
► Countries with the best healthcare in the world
► World’s worst countries to drive in
► Happiest countries in the world
► Best countries for women
► Poorest countries in the world – ranked
► World’s most powerful passport
► Countries with the fastest internet in the world
► Most stressed countries in the world
► Most expensive cities for expats
► World’s most democratic countries
► Happiest cities in the world


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Lead image: ANDREW MAYOVSKYY/SHUTTERSTOCK

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