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Global Peace Index sees Canada climb to fourth most peaceful country

June 12, 2012

Beauty pageant contestants have been hoping for world peace for decades, and it looks like the scales are tipping in their favor. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) recently released its 2012 Global Peace Index (GPI), and the results of this report show the world is becoming a more peaceful place. This year's report indicates there has been a decline in the political terror scale and improvements in international relations among many nations.

IEP researchers analyzed 158 countries by looking at 23 different factors in regards to domestic and international conflicts, societal safety and security and militarization. Improvements in peace also lead to improvements in the economy and the effect of improvements is rather tremendous. The study authors estimate total world peace would lead to $9 billion in global economic gains.

"What comes across dramatically in this year's results and the six year trends is a shift in global priorities," said Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of IEP. "Nations have become externally more peaceful as they compete through economic rather than military means... Peacefulness has returned to approximately the levels seen in 2007."

Some countries improved since last year's report, including Canada, which was bumped up to fourth place behind Iceland, Denmark and Sweden, according to CBC News. The nation's improvements stemmed from fewer Canadian casualties in Afghanistan. Those who want to congratulate their loved ones on Canada's achievement can make calls to Canada with international phone cards.

While Canada may be the fourth most peaceful country, Western Europe is still the most peaceful region in the world for six years running, the news source reports. On the other side, the Middle East and Northern African regions saw no improvements, and even the U.S. dropped in ranking. Last year, the U.S. was ranked 81st, but it dropped to 88th place in the 2012 report. The nation saw improvements in peacefulness, but they were outweighed by those of other countries, which knocked America down a few pegs.

Iceland managed to hang onto its place at the top of the list for the second year in a row, and Sri Lanka saw the most improvement since the 2011 report. When civil war ended, the Asian nation went from 130th place to 103rd.

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