Iceland, a nation of over 3.5 lakh people has been declared as the most peaceful country in the world, according to the 2021 Global Peace Index. Holding this title since the inception of this Index in 2008, Iceland is also the only Nordic country that is more peaceful now than it was in 2008.
Iceland is followed by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia. While Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq. The 2021 GPI reveals a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising tensions between many of the major powers.
Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.
The GPI covers 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace across three domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security, the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the degree of Militarisation.
About Iceland :
One of the youngest landmasses on the planet, and consequently home to some of the world’s most active volcanoes, Iceland is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, located near the Arctic Circle, between Greenland and Norway. Measuring around 103.000 km2 (40,000 square miles), it is about the same size as Hungary and Portugal, or Kentucky and Virginia. Iceland is the second largest island in Europe, following Great Britain, and the 18th largest island in the world. It is also the least populated country in Europe with less than three inhabitants per square kilometer. Almost 80% of the country is uninhabited, and much of its terrain consists of plateaux, mountain peaks, and fertile lowlands.
Iceland enjoys a cool, temperate maritime climate, with refreshing summers and surprisingly mild temperatures in winter. Icelandic culture has been shaped by isolation and the extreme forces of nature. These conditions have created a resilient people, where family ties are close, the sense of tradition is strong, and the bond with nature is tight.
Fisheries, Tourism and Services are the major economic sectors in Iceland. Today, Iceland is a progressive, modern society that continuously ranks at the top of measurements for quality of life, such as the United Nations Human Development Index. Its economy is one of the most productive economies in the world, per-capita, and it is annually considered to be one of greenest countries on the planet, due in large parts to its vast renewable energy resources.
Factors that make Iceland the most peaceful nation
- Low crime rate : Iceland has a very low level of crime . The murder rate in Iceland is zero to 1.5 a year, virtually no violent crimes, very small amount of petty crimes. Police officers in Iceland don’t carry guns and the nation has no army. Also, Iceland has no border nations, so no cross border conflicts and tensions..
- Relatively high standard of living : Crime is often linked to poverty. Iceland is not without its economical problems, but it does not have real poverty. The nation has low poverty rate and low unemployment rate. Employment regulations are relatively flexible and the labour market is one of the freest in the world. They also have one of the highest literacy rate in the world
- Robust Social welfare system : Iceland has an insurance-based unemployment benefit wherein financial assistance is available for those without other resources. It also has housing benefit for those with low income and family benefit which includes double the benefit for single parents, supplementary allowance to low income families. Iceland also has a universal health care and has been ranked as one of the best performing in the world, ranked 15th by the World Health Organization. According to an OECD report, Iceland devotes far more resources to healthcare than most industrialised nations. The education is fairly reasonable. For eg., The University of Iceland has an annual tuition fee of approximately 600 EUR, which is well below Europe’s average of 4,500 EUR per year.
- Rich Nation with low income inequality : Iceland’s GDP per capita is amongst the highest in the World. In 2018, the GDP per capita in Iceland amounted to more than 75,000 U.S. dollars. Also, its income inequality is among the lowest. A fairly rich nation with equal distribution of income, Iceland has no social clashes.
- Progressive human rights and values : There is no class system in Iceland and freedom of religion is guaranteed. There are laws strictly forbidding discrimination based on race, gender, disability or other factors, Iceland is by many standards and measurements considered a world leader when it comes to the human rights enjoyed by its people. The nation ranks amongst the most evolved in the world when it comes to gender equality, equal pay for Men and Women, freedom of expression, gay rights, and levels of democracy. Iceland is also number 1 in gender equality. Iceland was also the first country in the world to have a political party formed and led entirely by women in the year 1983.
- Small town feeling : Iceland has a very small and relatively homogenous population and is a very close-knit family oriented community. Almost everyone knows everyone, and are directly or remotely connected. People feel safe and secure in such surroundings.
7. No one has a bodyguard, not even the President: This statement stresses how safe the country is: simply put, there is no reason for anyone to have a bodyguard or an entourage for safekeeping. Icelanders feel safe in their country, even if they are in a position of power.
8. Infants and toddlers take naps outside in their strollers : Having babies sleep in their strollers outside is quite an old tradition and Icelanders swear by it. No one would ever worry about their baby carriage being snatched or their baby being taken simply because it has never happened. Just proves how safe is the nation.
10. Strict Driving Rules : The strict driving regulations in Iceland contributes to the overall safety of its citizens and visitors alike. There are no highways in Iceland–the fastest you can possibly drive is 90 kmph (55.9 mph) and if you can travel at that speed, it means you are outside of town. Breaking Iceland‘s strict speeding laws results in shockingly high fines–for a strict adherence to the law.
11. Less tax burden : Iceland has relatively low taxes. Unlike most Western European countries, Iceland has a flat tax system: the main personal income tax rate is a flat 22.75%, and combined with municipal taxes, the total tax rate equals no more than 35.7%, not including the many deductions that are available. The corporate tax rate is a flat 18%, one of the lowest in the world.
12. Effective Social Security and Pension system : The Icelandic pension system is based on three main pillars: the social security system, an occupational pension system and supplementary pension savings.
Social security is a public pension system of which all Icelanders are members, with the primary objective of providing mutual insurance, income equalisation and a social safety net for pension recipients. Social security includes pensions, health insurance and disability insurance.
Everyone who has been legally resident in Iceland for six months automatically becomes a member of the Icelandic social insurance system, regardless of nationality. Social insurance in Iceland is financed by the State Treasury. Persons do not pay special premiums for their social insurance: instead, employers pay premiums to the State Treasury on all paid wages. The funds collected by these means are used among other things, to finance social insurance.
Iceland is #1 in the following
- Iceland ranks 1st in gender equality.
- Iceland ranks 1st in income equality.
- Iceland ranks 1st in the environmentally friendly index.
- Iceland has the most sold books in the world Per capita.
- Icelanders produce more writers and books than any other nation in the world. Per capita, that is. 10% of Icelanders will publish a book at one time in their lives.
- Iceland had the first democratically elected female.
- Iceland had the first openly gay Prime Minister.
- Icelanders have the longest workweek in Europe, at 43.5 hours.
- 100% of Icelanders have internet connections. Iceland is the only country in the world where every single home is connected.
- Iceland hosts Europes’ largest glacier, Vatnajökull. It’s larger than all of Europe’s glaciers combined.
- Iceland has the purest water in the world
Source : www.campeasy.com (This is the source for #1)