Friday, June 01, 2007

Global Peace Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit launched today a study ranking 121 nations by their 'absence of violence.' The 24 indicators include internal and external factors such as levels of violence within a country, organized crime, the number of people in prison, and military expenditure.
Interesting idea. Norway comes in at #1, USA comes in at 96, Iran 97, and Iraq is at the bottom at 121.

They also look at the drivers of peace. Two drivers that I found interesting were that 'Level of distrust in other citizens' correlates at .69 and 'GDP per capita' at -.57 (more GDP means more peace).

via Private Sector Development Blog


Audacious Epigone said...

And what would the correlation between peace and the percentage of a nation's population that is of Western European descent? Higher than just about any other correlation one can devise, I suspect.

Average age and peace are also likely related, with older populations tending to be less violent.

Of course, there are problems in the way the results are arrived at. The last two years excepted, the surge in the US incarceration has corresponded with a marked decrease in violent crime. Putting thugs in jail makes society less violent (at least outside the penitentiary walls).

Fat Knowledge said...

Good point on the Western European descent.

With all of these indexes, the details of how they actually calculate the indexes can vastly change the results. I think this one looks pretty good, but really it needs to be raked over the coals for a couple of years before I would consider it solid.

I do like the attempt because it allows you to see what kind of things correlate to peace and which don't matter.

As for average age, there is a correlation with '15 - 34 year old males as a % of total population', but it is not as strong as other attributes.

As for incarceration, there is really no correlation at all between 'Number of jailed population per 100,000 people' and their peace ranking.

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