Wellington:New Zealand has been ranked the second most peaceful country in the world, according to the Global Peace Index 2019 report on Thursday.
The report produced by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace measured the "peacefulness" of 163 countries with a range of measures including military spending and deaths from conflict and terrorism, as well as an estimated economic cost of violence.
Iceland, often portrayed as an idyllic Nordic paradise, came first in the rankings for the 12th year in a row, reported The New Zealand Herald.Researchers praised Iceland's falling murder rate and an increase in funding to United Nations peacekeeping.
It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark, with European nations dominating the top of the list.The report ranked New Zealand the second place although researchers noted the impact of the March 15 Christchurch mosque attacks. It said New Zealand has improved in other aspects and gained "resilience" in dealing with disasters.
"New Zealand maintained or improved its scores in 22 out of 23 indicators but deteriorated in the impact of terrorism," the report said, referring to the terror attacks that killed 51 people.
Portugal was ranked third, and Austria fourth despite the likelihood of violent demonstrations after a far-right party joined the government, the Global Peace Index report said.
Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful one, according to the report.(UNI)