By Niall McCarthy

The latest edition of the Global Peace Index has found that the world is less peaceful today than at any time in the past decade. Published by the Institute for Economics and Peace, a non-profit think tank, the research revealed that 92 countries saw their score decline while 71 recorded improvement. Unresolved tensions, conflicts and crises have fueled global violence while a rise in political terror and reduced commitments to UN peacekeeping are also impacting global peace.

The index measures peace across a five-point scale through three filters. These are safety and security in society, ongoing domestic or international conflict as well as the degree of militarization in different countries. This year Iceland topped the ranking, a position it’s held since 2008. New Zealand comes second while Austria rounds off the top three. Unsurprisingly, Syria is at the bottom of the index, followed by Afghanistan and South Sudan. The United States only comes 121st out of the 163 countries in the ranking and it’s score stands at its worst level since 2012.

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