Global peacefulness has deteriorated over the past year, with this being the fourth time in the last five years that the world has seen a fall in peacefulness. The results this year show that the level of global peacefulness deteriorated, with the average country score falling by 0.34 per cent. This is the ninth deterioration in peacefulness in the last twelve years, with 81 countries improving, and 80 recording deteriorations over the past year. The 2020 GPI reveals a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the second year in a row, followed by Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. All, except Yemen, have been ranked amongst the five least peaceful since at least 2015. Only two of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year. The greatest improvement occurred in the Russia and Eurasia region, followed by North America.