And the Most Peaceful Country in the World Is…
Anyone seeking that elusive state of affairs known as ‘peace on Earth’ had better also have an appetite for volcanoes, glaciers and hot springs. Iceland, the little Nordic island with no standing army and the smallest population of any a NATO member state, is the most peaceful country in the world, according to the annual Global Peace Index compiled by the Institute for Economics & Peace.
Iceland is one of the most progressive nations on the planet: its welfare system offers health care and higher education for every one of its 320,000 citizens; it is powered in large part by renewable geothermal energy (see volcanoes, above); and it was one of the first countries in the world to legalize gay marriage.
While the country has hit some thin ice recently — in 2008 it basically went bankrupt, prompting public riots, and in 2010 a unpronouncable Icelandic volcano wreaked travel chaos across the north Atlantic — it’s general reputation as a pleasant liberal paradise put it at number one on the group’s list.
Iceland is followed by Denmark and New Zealand, tied for second place.