Land of the free, home of the brave – but America may not be the most peaceful spot on earth according to the 11th annual “Global Peace Index,” which bases judgement calls on a complex gauge of social, economic and political factors, including rates of homicide and terrorism activities.
The U.S. is now at No. 114, falling 11 places in the last year, the analysis says. Armenia and Rwanda are just in front of America on the list, El Salvador and China follow.
“Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark. There was also very little change at the bottom of the index. Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen,” the report said.
Most U.S. allies are in the top-20 of the index, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland and Germany. The United Kingdom is at No. 41, however.
“The U.S. deterioration is primarily driven by the growing intensity of internal conflict within the country, which was partly seen in the divisive 2016 Presidential election, as well as increases in the perceptions of criminality across American society,” the analysis said, also citing the impact of “rising homicide rates in several major American cities” and several terrorist attacks on American soil.
The index is produced by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace, which figures that the impact of strife worldwide is $14.3 trillion. News is not all bad, though. In a nutshell, the index found hat 93 nations became “more peaceful” in the last year, 68 were “less peaceful.”