- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The U.S. has gotten less peaceful in the last year, according to the annual Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 nations around the world based on multiple factors, including their rates of homicide and incarceration, and the presence of small arms within their borders.

America now stands at No. 121 on the list — falling from its spot last year at  114. The U.S. is behind Armenia at 120, but ahead of Myanmar at 122 and Russia at 154. Other nation’s ranked more peaceful than the U.S. include Cuba (81) and China (114).

The index also included a state-by-state measure of peacefulness within the U.S., placing Maine in first place, followed by Vermont and New Hampshire. Louisiana is in last place.

Things are uneasy in general.

“The 2018 Global Peace Index reveals a world in which the tensions, conflicts, and crises that emerged in the last decade remain unresolved, resulting in a gradual, sustained fall in peacefulness,” the study said.

“The largest contributors to the deterioration in the last year were the escalations in both interstate and internal armed conflicts, a rise in political terror and reduced commitment to UN peacekeeping. Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia are the least peaceful countries while Iceland, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark are the most peaceful countries.”

Now in its 12th year, the study also estimated that the total economic impact of violence is $14.6 trillion and said that refugees now make up 1 percent of the total global population — for the first time in world history.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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