The world’s safest and most dangerous countries in 2023: The UK is the 37th most peaceful nation, with America ranked 131st – again (far behind Canada, which comes 11th)

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The UK has been declared the 37th safest country in the world in 2023 in an annual study that ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness.

The study – called the Global Peace Index and produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace – covers 99.7 per cent of the population and measures ‘societal safety and security, domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisation’.

The report concludes that Iceland is the safest country overall – though its publication preceded the current volcanic activity – followed by Denmark (second), Ireland (third) and New Zealand (fourth).

America ranks 131st yet again, just behind South Africa (130th) and Haiti (129th).

Afghanistan (163rd) is deemed the least peaceful country in the world for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Yemen (162nd), Syria (161st), South Sudan (160th) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (159th).

The UK has been declared the 37th safest country in the world in 2023

Europe is the most peaceful region in the world, according to the study, and is home to seven of the ten most peaceful countries

Europe is the most peaceful region in the world, according to the study, and is home to seven of the ten most peaceful countries 

The report says: 'There are only two countries in the North American region, with Canada [11th] recording a 2.9 per cent increase in peacefulness'

The report says: ‘There are only two countries in the North American region, with Canada [11th] recording a 2.9 per cent increase in peacefulness’

The report authors say: ‘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. Haiti, Mali, and Israel were the other countries with the largest deteriorations [note that the study also preceded the current conflict in Israel].’

Europe is the most peaceful region in the world, according to the study, and is home to seven of the ten most peaceful countries.

The other three most peaceful countries are in the AsiaPacific region. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remained the world’s least peaceful region, the report concludes. It is home to four of the ten least peaceful countries.

The report concludes that Iceland is the safest country overall - though its publication preceded the current volcanic activity

The report concludes that Iceland is the safest country overall – though its publication preceded the current volcanic activity

Afghanistan (163rd) is deemed the least peaceful country in the world for the eighth consecutive year

Afghanistan (163rd) is deemed the least peaceful country in the world for the eighth consecutive year

IMPACT OF WAR IN UKRAINE 

The economic impact of violence has increased by 479% or $449billion, equivalent to 64% of Ukraine’s GDP.

65% of men in Ukraine aged 20 to 24 years have fled the country, or died in the conflict.

The report continues: ‘There are only two countries in the North American region, with Canada [11th] recording a 2.9 per cent increase in peacefulness, and the U.S experiencing a slight fall in peacefulness, with its overall score deteriorating by 0.38 per cent.

‘There is a considerable disparity in peacefulness between the two countries.’

Why? The report reveals that one reason is a feeling of safety in Canada, stating: ‘Less than 20 per cent of Canadians report that they do not feel safe walking alone at night in their city or neighbourhood.’

One reason for America’s lowly ranking is the murder rate, with the report stating: ‘The United States recorded the fourth largest overall increase in its homicide rate, which is now above six per 100,000 people and more than six times higher than most Western European countries.’

THE WORLD’S SAFEST AND MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRIES IN 2023 

1 Iceland*

2 Denmark

3 Ireland

4 New Zealand

5 Austria

6 Singapore

7 Portugal

8 Slovenia

9 Japan

10 Switzerland

11 Canada

12 Czechia

13 Finland

14 Croatia

15 Germany

16 Netherlands

17 Bhutan

18 Hungary

19 Malaysia

20 Belgium

21 Qatar

22 Australia

23 Mauritius

24 Norway

25 Estonia

26 Slovakia

27 Latvia

28 Sweden

29 Poland

30 Bulgaria

31 Romania

32 Spain

33 Taiwan

34 Italy

35 Kuwait

36 Lithuania

37 United Kingdom

38 North Macedonia

39 Costa Rica

40 Albania

41 Vietnam

42 Botswana

43 South Korea

44 Mongolia

45 Montenegro

46 Laos

47 Sierra Leone

48 Oman

49 Timor-Leste

50 Uruguay

51 Ghana

52 Senegal

53 Indonesia

54 Argentina

55 Madagascar

56 Namibia

57 Moldova

58 Chile

59 The Gambia

60 Greece

61 Bosnia and Herzegovina

62 Jordan

63 Zambia

64 Cyprus

65 Serbia

66 Armenia

67 France

=68 Panama

=68 Paraguay

=70 Trinidad and Tobago

=70 Kosovo

=70 Liberia

73 Cambodia

74 Malawi

75 United Arab Emirates

76 Kazakhstan

77 Jamaica

78 Bolivia

79 Nepal

80 China

81 Tunisia

82 Equatorial Guinea

83 Dominican Republic

=84 Angola

=84 Morocco

86 Uzbekistan

87 Guinea-Bissau

=88 Bangladesh

=88 Rwanda

90 Côte d’Ivoire

91 Tanzania

92 Thailand

93 Gabon

94 Georgia

95 Azerbaijan

96 Algeria

=97 Ecuador

=97 Papua New Guinea

99 Cuba

100 Turkmenistan

101 Kyrgyz Republic

102 Tajikistan

=103 Guatemala

=103 Peru

=103 Togo

106 Guyana

107 Sri Lanka

108 Bahrain

109 Eswatini

110 Benin

111 Lesotho

112 Djibouti

113 Republic of the Congo

114 Mauritania

115 Philippines

116 Belarus

117 Kenya

118 Mozambique

119 Saudi Arabia

120 Honduras

121 Egypt

122 El Salvador

123 Nicaragua

=124 Zimbabwe

=124 Uganda

126 India

127 Guinea

128 Burundi

129 Haiti

130 South Africa

131 United States of America

132 Brazil

133 Eritrea

134 Palestine

135 Lebanon

136 Mexico

137 Libya

138 Niger

139 Cameroon

=140 Venezuela

=140 Colombia

142 Chad

143 Israel

144 Nigeria

145 Myanmar

146 Pakistan

=147 Türkiye

=147 Iran

149 North Korea

150 Burkina Faso

151 Ethiopia

152 Central African Republic

153 Mali

154 Iraq

155 Sudan

156 Somalia

157 Ukraine

158 Russia

159 Democratic Republic of the Congo

160 South Sudan

161 Syria

162 Yemen

163 Afghanistan

Source: Global Peace Index 2023

*The report’s publication preceded the current volcanic activity in Iceland and the conflict in Palestine