India's rank has slipped five places to 141 among 163 countries on the Global Peace Index 2019, while Iceland remains the most peaceful country and Afghanistan the least peaceful nation, says a report.
Australian think tank Institute for Economics & Peace ranks countries according to their level of peacefulness based on three thematic domains -- the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarisation.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008.
It is joined at the top of the Global Peace Index (GPI) by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.
Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq comprise the remaining five least peaceful countries.
In South Asia, Bhutan topped the index with 15th rank, followed by Sri Lanka 72, Nepal 76 and Bangladesh 101. The neighbouring country Pakistan has been ranked 153rd on the index.
India together with Philippines, Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Pakistan are the nine countries with the highest risk of multiple climate hazards. The country has the 7th highest overall natural hazard score, the report's findings said.
India, the US, China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia are the top five countries with the largest total military expenditure, it added.
According to the report, South Asia's score for every indicator in ongoing conflict is less peaceful than the global average, with four out of six deteriorating last year. Only deaths from internal conflict improved, with fewer fatalities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India than the year prior.
The score for internal conflicts fought had the highest rating at five in both India and Pakistan.
China, Bangladesh, and India, score in the bottom half of the GPI and have significant exposure to climate hazards, with 393 million people in high climate hazard areas, the report observed.
While global peacefulness improved for the first time in five years, as per the index findings, the world remains less peaceful than a decade ago.
This year's report includes new research on the possible effects of climate change on peace.
Since 2008 global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78 per cent, the report revealed.
The GPI was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian technology entrepreneur and philanthropist.
"Clearly it is good news that state sponsored terror has declined markedly over the last decade, with 62 countries improving their scores while only 42 deteriorated.
However, incarceration shows the opposite trend with 95 countries increasing the incarceration rate compared to 65 that improved," Killelea said.
The report covers 99.7 per cent of the world's population and uses 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources to compile the index.
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