Iceland most peaceful nation, US 97th
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iceland is the world's most peaceful nation while the United States is ranked among the bottom third, according to a study released on Tuesday.
The "Global Peace Index," compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked the United States 97th out of 140 countries according to how peaceful they were domestically and how they interacted with the outside world.
The United States slipped from 96th last year, but was still ahead of foe Iran which ranked 105th. It, however, lagged Belarus, Cuba, South Korea, Chile, Libya and others which were listed as more peaceful.
Iraq, which the United States invaded in 2003, leading to the toppling of Saddam Hussein, ranked lowest on the index. Afghanistan, another country invaded by the United States this decade, was also in the bottom five, along with Sudan, Somalia and Israel.
Small, stable and democratic countries were found to be the most peaceful in the index, with 16 of the top 20 coming from western or central European democracies.
The index looks at 24 indicators of external and internal measures of peace, including U.N. deployments overseas and levels of violent crime, respect for human rights, the number of soldiers killed overseas and arms sales.
The Group of Eight major economic powers were a mixed bag. Japan ranked fifth, Canada 11th, Germany 14th, Italy 28th, France 36th and Britain 49th. Russia was near the bottom at 131st, the only one in the group below the United States.