12 June, 2012

The US in context: we're number eighty-eight!

 There's Global Peace Index each year, calculated by the Institute for Economics and Peace on the basis of
...23 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential “drivers” or determinants of peace—including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material wellbeing. The team has used the latest available figures from a wide range of respected sources, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies, The World Bank, various UN entities, Peace Institutes and the Economist Intelligence Unit.
So where's the US?  Number 88 out of 153, between Equatorial Guinea and China.  (Within the US the most peaceful state is Maine and the least is Louisiana.)  Key factors bringing down the rating for the US are deaths in foreign wars, percent of population in prison, access to weapons, political terror, and weapons exports.  On the bright side, violent crime is low, and so is political instability.  Here's the map:
So it could be worse--but I can't say I'm proud of the company we keep.

Global peace index 2012: the full list | News | guardian.co.uk
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