(TMU) — Global peacefulness has improved for the first time in five years according to the Global Peace Index (GPI), which has recently released their 13th annual rankings of the most peaceful nations on earth. The world, however, is still less peaceful than it was just a decade ago.
The yearly study takes a complex look at a multitude of factors while ranking 163 countries from most to least peaceful. Some of the components taken into account while compiling the list range from homicide and incarceration rates to the presence of small arms, military expenditures, ongoing conflicts, terrorism, and the overall economic impact of violence.
Iceland is considered the most peaceful nation on Earth, a title it has held for 11 years.
In second place is New Zealand, followed by Portugal in third, Austria, Denmark, Canada, Singapore, Slovenia, Japan and the Czech Republic, to round out the top 10 most peaceful nations.
Afghanistan ranks dead last on the list, ranking it as the least peaceful nation on Earth, followed by Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Central African Republic, Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Russia.
The United States ranks 128th, dropping four spots from last year. U.S. ally Saudi Arabia—well known for its human rights abuses—ranks only one spot behind at 129th.
It may come as a surprise to many Americans that China, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, Rwanda, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of the Congo are just a few of the nations that rank higher than the United States.
Other notable nations include Australia ranking at 13th, Germany 22nd, United Kingdom 45th, France 60th, Iran 139th, Mexico 140th, Israel 146th, and North Korea 149th.