In the news, all we see is the strife and conflicts that are going on around the world. But in between all this, there are many places around the world where much sought-after calm prevails. Let’s travel to the most peaceful countries in the world, where things like happiness, friendliness, decent standard of living, more-than-satisfied citizens, etc., are a given.
The Other End of the Rope
With a rating of around 6.50 or thereabouts, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Sudan are the 5 most dangerous countries in the world to live in.
It can be said without a shred of doubt that everyone wants to live in a peaceful world. But life remains complicated in most parts of the world due to varied reasons. Though, there are a few places where life is nothing less than perfect for most people. So what makes these countries the perfect ones to be citizens of? Only materialistic things do not matter. Unity, peace, and a life of satisfaction play a big role in making some places an ideal home to its citizens.
There are quite a few factors on which the list of the world’s most peaceful countries can be determined. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) collates data to determine the Global Peace Index (GPI), and thereby, lists a country as to how peaceful it is. Important factors that are taken into consideration are; external and internal conflicts, organized crime, relations with neighboring countries, terrorism, political instability, homicides, percentage of jailed citizens, military expenditure, weapons stockpile, easy access to arms, internal unrest and demonstrations, besides others. Also, to be ranked, a country needs to have either 1+ million population or at least an area of 20,000 square km (7722.04 square miles).
Iceland, with one of the lowest homicide rate (0.0018%) in the world, tops the list as the most peaceful country on planet Earth, with a rating of 8.84 out of 10. This country is known as the meeting point of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. Geographically located between North America and Europe, it is included in the European continent, mostly for practical reasons. Iceland has a population of just above 0.3 million, and with an area of 40,000 square miles, it is the most sparsely populated country in the European continent. The capital city is Reykjavík and language spoken is Icelandic. The currency of Iceland is the Icelandic króna, and per capita GDP is USD 41,739. And no, it is not a country covered with ice.
Denmark, also known as the Kingdom of Denmark, comes second with a rating of 8.79. Situated in Northern Europe in between Sweden, Norway, and Germany, Denmark consists of an area of around 16,600 square miles. With Copenhagen as its capital, the population of this country is around 5.6 million, and the main language that is spoken here is Danish. The autonomous constituent countries of Faroe Islands and Greenland are also included under Denmark. The currency used here is the Danish krone, and the per capita GDP is USD 57,998.
Next comes the beautiful country of New Zealand, with a rating of 8.76. Situated to the east of Australia, it is an island nation in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. New Zealand has a total land area of around 103,000 square miles, and has a population of around 4.5 million. Wellington is the capital, and the main language spoken across the country is English. The currency used all over the nation is the New Zealand Dollar, and its per capita GDP stands at USD 40,481.
Next, we are back in Europe. Austria comes 4th in the list with a peace rating of 8.75. Austria is situated in central Europe, landlocked, and bordered by the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. With an area of around 32,400 square miles, Austria has a population of approximately 8.5 million. The capital city is Vienna, and the official language of the nation is German. Austria is a member of the European Union, its currency being the Euro, and it has a per capita GDP of USD 47,083.
Switzerland comes in next with a rating of 8.73. It is a landlocked country and is situated in western and central Europe. Switzerland is bordered by Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein. It has an area of around 16,000 square miles, and a population of approximately 8 million people. The capital is Bern, and the official languages of the country are French, German, Italian, and Romansh. The Swiss use the Swiss franc as their currency, and the per capita GDP of the country is USD 80,276.
The most peaceful country in Asia is Japan, which ranks 6th in the world, with a rating of 8.71. This east Asian island nation is located in the Pacific Ocean, and is popularly known as ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’. With an area of around 146,000 square miles, Japan has a population of about 126 million people. Tokyo is its capital, and the language spoken all over the country is Japanese. The currency used in Japan is the Yen, and it has a per capita GDP of USD 39,321.
Again back to Europe, Finland comes in next with a rating of 8.70. This northern European nation is bordered by Sweden, Norway, Russia, and Estonia. The capital of Finland is Helsinki, and the official languages of the country are Finnish and Swedish. The country has an area of around 130,000 square miles, holding a population of approximately 5.5 million. As a part of the European Union, Finland uses the Euro as its currency, and has a per capita GDP of USD 46,098.
Now we move to North America, with Canada coming 8th with a rating of 8.69. It shares the world’s longest land border with the United states, and has an area of around 3,854,000 square miles, making it the second largest country in the world. Canada has a population of approximately 35 million people, and its capital is Ottawa. The official languages of the country are English and French. Canada uses the Canadian Dollar as its currency, and its per capita GDP is USD 51,871.
Moving back to Europe again, Sweden has a peace rating of 8.68. Officially called the Kingdom of Sweden, it is located in the northern Europe, and is bordered by Norway and Finland. At around 174,000 square miles, Sweden has a population of around 9.6 million. It is a part of the EU, with Stockholm as its capital, and the official language is Swedish. Though it is in the EU, its currency is the Swedish krona, and it has a per capita GDP of USD 57,297.
We stay in Europe, and look at Belgium, or Kingdom of Belgium, which completes the top 10, with a rating of 8.66. Not many know, but the headquarters of the European Union is in Belgium, as this nation is one of its founding members. The headquarters of NATO is also in Belgium. It covers an area of around 11,800 square miles, holding a population of nearly 11 million, and is bordered by France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The capital city is Brussels, and the official languages here are Dutch, German, and French. Belgium deals in the Euro currency, and has a per capita GDP of USD 43,686.
Another European country, Norway (Kingdom of Norway) comes in next with a rating of 8.64. It is bordered by Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Norway has an area of around 149,000 square miles, and a population of around 5.1 million. The capital is Oslo, and its official language is Norwegian. The currency that Norway uses is the Norwegian krone, and its per capita GDP is USD 101,271.
Another European country, Ireland, comes next with a rating of 8.63. Situated to the west of the UK, Ireland has an area of around 32,500 square miles, with a population of approximately 6.4 million. Its capital is Dublin, and the languages spoken are English, Irish, and Ulster Scots. The currencies used here are the Euro and Pound Sterling, and the per capita GDP is USD 45,835.
The central European nation of Slovenia takes 13th place with a rating of 8.63. It is bordered by Austria, Italy, Croatia, and Hungary. Slovenia covers an area of around 7,800 square miles, and has a population of just over 2 million. The capital city is Ljubljana, and the official language of this country is Slovene. A member of the European Union, Slovenia’s currency is the Euro, and its per capita GDP is USD 22,192.
The Czech Republic, a landlocked central European country, has a peace rating of 8.60. It is bordered by Austria, Germany, Poland, and Slovakia. It covers an area of around 30,500 square miles, with a population of nearly 10.5 million. The capital of the Czech Republic is Prague, and the official language is Czech. Though a member of the EU, its currency is the Czech koruna, and the nation’s per capita GDP is USD 18,579.
Germany, or the Federal Republic of Germany, takes next spot with a rating of 8.57. It is situated in the western part of central Europe, covers an area of around 138,000 square miles, and has a population of nearly 80.6 million. Berlin is the capital of Germany, and the country’s official language is German. It is one of the founding members of the EU, uses the Euro as its currency, and has a per capita GDP of USD 45,925.
Moving halfway across the world, Australia comes next with a rating of 8.56. It is a continent by itself, closest to Indonesia and New Zealand. With an area of around 2,969,900 square miles, it has a population of approximately 23.5 million. The capital city is Canberra, and English is spoken all over the country. Australia’s currency is the Australian Dollar, and the nation has a per capita GDP of USD 67,722.
Back to Asia, next comes Singapore with a rating of 8.56. The Republic of Singapore is an island nation in Southeast Asia, with the closest countries being Malaysia and Indonesia. This tiny country is just 276 square miles, and has a population of around 5.4 million. The capital is Singapore, while the official languages of this country are English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. The currency used here is the Singapore Dollar, and the per capita GDP is USD 50,323.
Again back to Europe, Portugal comes in next with a rating of 8.53. The Portuguese Republic is situated in south western Europe, and is bordered by Spain and the Atlantic Ocean. With an area of around 35,600 square miles, it has a population of nearly 10.5 million. The capital of Portugal is Lisbon, and the official language of this country is Portuguese. As an EU member, it used the Euro as its currency, and has a per capita GDP of USD 21,765.
Back to Asia, Qatar comes next with a rating of 8.52. This Arab emirate is situated in western Asia, and is bordered by Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. It has an area of around 4,500 square miles, and a population of nearly 2.1 million. The capital is Doha, while the country’s official language is Arabic. Qatar uses the Riyal as its currency, and has a per capita GDP of USD 98,329.
Staying in Asia, Bhutan completes our top 20 countdown with a rating of 8.51. This south Asian landlocked country is bordered by China and India. Bhutan covers an area of around 14,800 square miles, and has a population of just around three quarters of a million. The capital city is Thimphu, and the nation’s official language is Dzongkha. Bhutan’s currency is the Bhutanese ngultrum, and its per capita GDP is just USD 2,121.
Looking at this list of peaceful countries, it is noticeable that most are from Europe. Obviously, if one country is a delight to live in, it will have excellent relations with its neighbors, whose customs and style of living would be quite similar, which is why a cluster of countries from the same area seem to appear on the list. Maybe migrating to one of these places would be a good idea, right? Won’t be easy though!