Americans may feel safe, but the country falls behind many in terms of peacefulness according to a study of 2016 data. Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index looked at a range of factors to determine how peaceful 162 countries behaved.
The U.S. ranked 103rd in the study, beating out other large countries like Russia, China and Brazil but falling behind Cuba, Uruguay and most European countries. Iceland led the ranking due to its extremely low murder rate and the stability of its political landscape.
The most peaceful countries in the world:
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
Peace was hard to find throughout the Middle East, with Syria falling to the bottom of the rankings due to ongoing civil war. The growth of terrorism drove an overall decline in peacefulness over the last decade, according to the study. 2016 saw more than double the terrorism countries where more than 500 people die in terrorists attacks, from 5 to 11, in the last year.
The least peaceful countries in the world:
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
- North Korea
The rankings looked at things like perceived security, violent crime statistics and the number of people in prison. The U.S. ranking was brought down by how much the country spends on bringing violent crime down as well, with over $2 trillion estimated on reducing violence.
Obviously, the majority of that comes from local, state and federal spending on law enforcement and the justice system, but individual spending on keeping homes safe also factors in.
Spending on home security is expected to reach $34 billion this year, as more people can afford simple security measures like Wi-Fi cameras and DIY sensor setups, such as those from Fortress or Scout.
However, the study also looked at militarization to determine its rankings. With the U.S.’s actions overseas and its domestic gun producers exporting weapons around the world, the U.S. has had a part in reducing peacefulness worldwide.