According to the Global Peace Index 2016, only Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam are free from conflict. Iceland tops the list of most peaceful countries in the world, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Portugal, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and Slovenia — while the United States ranked far lower, at 103. Palestine, placed in the index of 163 nations for the first time this year, ranked 148th.
War-torn Syria placed at the bottom of the list, lower than only South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Sudan, and Libya.
"The index gauges global peace using three broad themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarisation," the report states.
Though 81 countries improved their level of peace according to those criteria, those gains were muddied by deteriorating peace in 79 other nations. In the last decade, "the average country score deteriorated by 2.44 per cent with 77 countries improving while 85 countries deteriorated, highlighting the global complexities of peace and its uneven distribution."