Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

World’s most dangerous countries for 2023 revealed

The world has become less peaceful over the last 15 years, report shows

Benjamin Parker
Monday 27 November 2023 15:32 GMT
These are the Three Most Peaceful Countries

A new study has revealed the most dangerous and most peaceful countries in the world for 2023.

The 17th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI), produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, ranks 163 independent states and territories comprising 99.7 per cent of the world’s population.

The 2023 research reveals that the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated by 0.42 per cent. This is the 13th deterioration in the last 15 years, with 84 countries improving and 79 deteriorating in peacefulness in 2022.

Afghanistan has been named as the least peaceful country in the world for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The war in Ukraine had a significant impact on global peacefulness, with Ukraine and Russia having the largest and fifth largest deteriorations in peacefulness respectively. Despite this, Europe is the most peaceful region in the world and is home to seven of the 10 most peaceful countries.

Haiti, Mali, and Israel were the other countries with the largest deteriorations.

Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the index’s summit by Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and Austria.

The UK is ranked 37th most-peaceful nation, down one place from last year, and given a “state of peace” ranking of “high”. The scale ranges from “very high” to “very low”.

The United States is considered “low” on the peacefulness scale, and finds itself in 131st place in the list, the same as last year. The report states that the US “experienced a slight deterioration in peacefulness over the past year, the continuation of a trend that began in 2015”, and that while civil unrest was no longer the main driver, the fall was caused by a “deterioration on the safety and security domain, particularly in the perceptions of criminality and homicide rate indicators.”

The GPI uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators, and measures the state of peace across three domains: the level of societal safety and security; the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict; and the degree of militarisation.

The report was compiled before the escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict in October and the ongoing volcanic activity in Iceland.

The Institute for Economics and Peace, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, describes itself as an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank.

The most dangerous countries in the world 2023

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Yemen
  3. Syria
  4. South Sudan
  5. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  6. Russia
  7. Ukraine
  8. Somalia
  9. Sudan
  10. Iraq

The most peaceful countries in the world 2023

  1. Iceland
  2. Denmark
  3. Ireland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Austria
  6. Singapore
  7. Portugal
  8. Slovenia
  9. Japan
  10. Switzerland

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in