LONDON – Canada has slipped out of a rating of the world’s top 10 most peaceful countries.
The reason is Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan and the addition of 19 more countries to the list, says David Crichton, a research director at Britain’s Economist Intelligence Unit which conducted the Global Peace Index.
Canada was ranked number eight in last year’s index but slipped to 11th place this year.
Crichton says that really isn’t significant, given the number of countries evaluated.
He says the addition of 19 new countries to the list, bringing it up to 140 this year and including Iceland and Luxembourg, has dragged Canada down out of the top 10.
He also cited Canada’s loss of lives in the conflict in Afghanistan as a factor.
The index, which ranks a number of internal and external factors, found Scandinavian countries among the most peaceful, taking the top three spots.
Canada came in one spot ahead of Switzerland and two ahead of Sweden.
That compared with Britain at 49th spot and the United States at 97, a ranking that had it behind countries such as Kuwait, Nicaragua and Libya.
The index, now in its second year, ranks countries according to their relative states of peace, based on factors such as military expenditure and respect for human rights, the homicide rate and other things.
This year, Iceland was selected the most peaceful place, beating last year’s winner Norway, which came in third. Denmark was No. 2.
Israel, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq were at the bottom of the list.
The idea for the index came from Steve Killelea, an Australian businessman and philanthropist who wanted to identify just what creates a peaceful country.