Jumping three places since the previous edition, Estonia was ranked 30th overall in the 2020 edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) compiled and released by the Institute for Economics and Peace. According to the institute, the economic cost of violence in Estonia equaled 6 percent of the GDP.
Iceland was ranked the most peaceful country in the world with a score of 1.078, followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Canada, Singapore, the Czech Republic, Japan and Switzerland (1.366 points).
Of neighboring countries, Finland ranked 14th (1.404 points), Sweden 15th (1.479 points), Latvia 34th (1.7 points) and Lithuania 36th (1.706 points).
The least peaceful the 163 countries ranked were Afghanistan (3.664 points), Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic and Russia (3.049).
Overall, 81 countries saw their peace index improve while 80 saw their index fall. The overall average score increased by 0.34, however, indicating an overall worsening of the situation.
Estonia ranked in bottom half of Europe
Of European countries, Estonia was ranked 21st, behind Poland and ahead of Italy.
Estonia scored 1.411 in the domain of ongoing domestic and international conflict, placing at the head of the second third of countries. The lowest scores were in Botswana, Mauritius, Singapore and Uruguay (each with a score of 1.0) as well as Bulgaria and Iceland (1.001 points). The highest scores, indicating the worst situations, were in Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria (each with a score exceeding 3.6 points).
In the social safety and security domain, which was ranked most to least peaceful, Estonia was ranked at the end of the top quarter with a score of 1.945 points. Iceland topped the rankings with 1.164 points, followed by Singapore (1.224 points), Japan (1.256 points), Norway (1.256 points) and Switzerland (1.277 points). At the bottom of the rankings were South Sudan (4.074 points), Iraq (4.150 points) and Afghanistan (4.275).
In the militarization domain, Estonia ranked between the first and second top quarter with a score of 1.578 points. The least militarized of ranked countries was Iceland (1.029 points), Hungary (1.151 points) and New Zealand (1.170 points), while the most militarized were Israel (3.914 points), Russia (3.241 points), North Korea (3.224 points), the U.S. (3.060) and France (2.767).
The GPI also assessed the economic impact of violence on countries, taking into account indirect as well as direct economic impacts of violence. According to these factors, the economic impact of violence on Estonia is equal to 6 percent of GDP, ranking 76th overall. The greatest economic impacts were assessed to be in Syria (60 percent of GDP), South Sudan (57 percent) and Afghanistan (52 percent); the smallest impacts on GDP, meanwhile, were assessed to be in Ghana, Qatar, Malawi and Indonesia.
The GPI has been compiled and released since 2007. A total of 23 indicators are factored into the index which measure both domestic (violence, crime) and foreign policy (international relations, defense spending) parameters.
Click here (link to PDF) to read the 2020 GPI report in full.
Editor: Aili Vahtla