The Institute for Economics and Peace, based in Sydney and New York, has published the annual Global Peace Index for 2013 which shows that Portugal is the 18th safest place to live of 162 countries that were surveyed, the highest in Southern Europe.
Top of the list is Iceland, closely followed by Denmark and not unsurprisingly the bottom of the list includes Syria and Afghanistan. In the survey, Spain was placed 27th, UK 44th and the USA 99th.
In attempting to gauge peacefulness, the GPI investigates the extent to which countries are involved in ongoing domestic and international conflicts.
It also seeks to evaluate the level of harmony or discord within a nation; ten indicators broadly assess what might be described as safety and security in society. The assertion is that low crime rates, minimal terrorist activity and violent demonstrations, harmonious relations with neighbouring countries, a stable political scene and a small proportion of the population being internally displaced or made refugees can be equated with peacefulness.
Seven further indicators are related to a country’s military build-up – reflecting the assertion that the level of militarisation and access to weapons is directly linked to how peaceful a country feels, both domestically and internationally.
Comparable data on military expenditure as a percentage of GDP and the number of armed service officers per head are gauged, as are financial contributions to UN peacekeeping missions. News submitted by Safe Communities Algarve