Why Bhutan ranks 13th out of 163 countries in Global Peace Index

Bhutan is ranked 13th out of 163 countries in the latest report of the Global Peace Index (GPI). The report states that South Asia hosts some countries as peaceful as Bhutan and at the same time some of the least peaceful countries in the world such as Pakistan (152nd) and Afghanistan (162nd).

“Bhutan experienced a slight deterioration in peace, despite improvements in the indicators measuring UN peacekeeping funding and the number of refugees. The deterioration was caused by deteriorations in the indicators measuring political terror, the level of external conflicts and the homicide rate.

The economic impact of violence in Bhutan amounted to $388 million Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in 2016. Bhutan’s economic impact of violence was costs equivalent to six per cent of the country’s 2016 GDP. The per capita burden of violence was $491 PPP 2016. The economic impact of violence decreased by six percent from 2015 to 2016,” states the report.

Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, who presented the status of Bhutan on the Global Peace Index map, said that over the years there has been more improvement on free flow of information in the country, high levels of human capital, equitable distribution of resources, low levels of corruption, acceptance of the right of others and deterioration in the well functioning of the government.

The Institute for Economics and Peace is an independent, non-profit think tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the key drivers and measures of peace as well as identifying the economic benefits that increased peacefulness can deliver.

Since last year, 93 countries recorded higher levels of peace while 68 deteriorated, resulting in an overall improvement in world peace. The global improvement was mainly driven by lower levels of state-sponsored terror – extra-judicial killings and torture – and the prior withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan.

Iceland topped the list as the world’s most peaceful country, followed by New Zealand and Portugal, which replaced Denmark and Austria while Syria ranked the least peaceful country for the fifth consecutive year – Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen listed in the bottom five. Despite overall improvements, the number of countries experiencing record number of deaths from terrorism jumped to an historic high of 23, including Denmark, Sweden, France, and Turkey.

The Global Peace Index is now in its eleventh year and ranks 163 countries according to their relative states of peace using 23 indicators weighed on a 1-5 scale developed by the Institute of Economics and Peace which is guided and overseen by a Panel of International Experts with data collected and collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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