Lonely Planet Writer

Check out the world's most peaceful countries: Iceland tops the list

Iceland has been named as the safest country in the world for the sixth year running, with Denmark, AustriaNew Zealand and Portugal also making up the top five. This is great news for those who wish to visit the European country to check out the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), which are one of the Iceland’s biggest attractions.

The Northern Lights in Iceland.
The Northern Lights in Iceland. Image by Gudjón Ottó Bjarnason

Choosing a safe place to visit is a top priority for holidaymakers, and the Institute for Economics and Peace has charted the world’s safest destinations based on the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) ranking. Seven out of ten of the most peaceful countries are in Europe.

Those who don’t know where to begin when it comes to booking a low-risk vacation will find the GPI useful, as it has ranked 163 countries globally in terms of how peaceful they are.

Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland
Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik, Iceland Image by CA Luo

Here are the top ten, and the full list is available on Vision of Humanity.

1. Iceland
2. Denmark
3. Austria
4. New Zealand
5. Portugal
6. Czech Republic
7. Switzerland
8. Canada
9. Japan
10. Slovenia

The GPI score considers many factors, and calculates each country’s rating by considering any instability in the region, the presence of nuclear weapons and the number of police and security personnel.

Iceland’s top ranking was achieved by its low murder rate and small population, and the fact that its spend on violence is substantially smaller than other countries.

In the 2016 report, the UK came in at number 47, Australia at 15 and the US at 103.