In recent years, peace has been hard to come by. For Black millennials and Gen-Z travelers, heading out of town has become a remedy for coping with stress. With so much happening in the world and in individual lives, having a little peace of mind can sometimes be as simple as taking a vacation.
However, a vacation is pointless if the destination you’re visiting is overflowing with strife. Some destinations are simply more peaceful than others. To determine where the most peace resides, the Global Peace Index (GPI) compiles an annual list of the safest countries on Earth. While the US didn’t make the top 100, Iceland reigned as the number one destination again.
The Nordic country has remained the most peaceful place in the world since 2008. Although the index reported Iceland had a slight decline in peacefulness around 2020, the country continues to showcase what happens when peace is prioritized.
Peace Is The Priority
Iceland is different from other countries in a variety of ways. These stark differences ensure the country is much more peaceful than many of your favorite destinations. The GPI bases its rankings on societal safety and security, ongoing conflict, and militarization in the country. Iceland comes out on top of all three criteria standards.
First, the country doesn’t have a military budget or armed forces. Instead, Iceland prioritizes the peace and happiness of its citizens. Each year, they allocate funds to ensure citizens have access to healthcare, education, and social resources instead of investing in the military.
Compared to other countries, Iceland is also relatively small. It only has a population of around 371,000, so the country has less violence per capita than larger countries.
According to the GPI, Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. This may come as a surprise considering that a lot of Icelandic citizens own firearms. In 2019, NBC News described Iceland as a “gun-loving country with no shooting murders.” Despite citizens owning guns, most only use them for hunting.
Even with a slight drop in safety standards by the GPI, Iceland is still the safest and most peaceful destination to visit. Coming in behind the Nordic country is Denmark, Ireland, and New Zealand. The US came in at number 131. According to the GPI, the US ranked low on the list due to extreme prison population numbers, militarization, and weapon exports. South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo ranked as the least peaceful destinations this year.
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