Thinking Aloud: India and the 2015 Global Peace Index

June 18, 2015 by Darius 

This week, the Institute for Economics and Peace released its 2015 Global Peace Index.

Iceland and Denmark are the most peaceful countries on the Global Peace Index.  Iraq and Syria came out on the bottom.  Not surprisingly, the Middle East and North Africa saw the sharpest deterioration in their Global Peace Index scores from 2014 to 2015.  Unfortunately, nearly six times as many people live in the 20 least-peaceful countries as live in the 20 most-peaceful countries (approximately 2.35 billion in the 20 least peaceful vs. 420 million in the 20 most peaceful countries).

In addition to the usual suspects, one country, in particular, caught my attention: India.

India placed a rather dismal 143rd out of 162 countries in peacefulness.  India also grew more violent over the last year due to local political violence and a continuing Maoist insurgency in the northeast.  India ranked fifth out of seven in the not-terribly-impressive category of South Asian countries, ahead of only Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Globally, Yemen and Libya, two countries with active civil wars, were both more peaceful than India in the last year.

Violence has carried an enormous cost for India.  The study estimated that India’s economy lost $342 billion to violence last year.  That number, which represents 4.7% of India’s GDP, includes the government’s military spending but nonetheless takes a significant chunk out of India’s coffers at a time when roughly half of Indian children are still stunted due to malnourishment.  The world’s largest democracy clearly needs to work on a few things.

You can find the full report at http://www.visionofhumanity.org/sites/default/files/Global%20Peace%20Index%20Report%202015_0.pdf.

 

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