Afghanistan is the world's most dangerous country for the fifth consecutive year, but it is Ukraine which has recorded the largest deterioration in the Global Peace Index 2022.
Since Russian troops invaded the Eastern European country in February, it has fallen 17 places, to 153, in terms of its peacefulness.
Russia has also taken a hit, falling five places to 160 out of 163 countries. Both nations received a “very low” rating in the annual report.
Iceland was ranked number one, a position it has held since the inception of the index in 2008.
The five countries with the largest deteriorations were Ukraine, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Russia and Haiti, while the five countries that improved the most were Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines and Algeria.
Europe is the most peaceful region in the world, where seven of the ten safest countries are located.
Eight countries that appeared among the highest rankings in last year’s report remained among the top 10 again this year.
Singapore and Japan, which were ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, climbed the rating list this year, pushing Switzerland and Canada outside of the top 10, into 11th and 12th place respectively.
Yemen remains the most dangerous country in the Mena region for a second year in a row, ranking one place behind Afghanistan. Syria kept its position as the third most dangerous country in the world.
Despite the overall deterioration of global peace relative to 2021, 90 countries recorded an improvement in peacefulness this year, while 71 recorded a deterioration.
Significant low scores in “political instability”, “political terror”, “neighbouring country relations” and “refugees and IDPs” (internally displaced people) occurred in 2022, with these indicators reaching their worst levels since the inception of the index in 2008.
Other indicators to deteriorate were "deaths from external conflict" and "intensity of internal conflicts".
On a more positive note, there were substantial improvements to the scores of a number of indicators, including "terrorism impact", "nuclear and heavy weapons", "military expenditure" and "perceptions of criminality".
Terrorism impact is now at its best level in six years, however, the world is now less peaceful than it was at the inception of the index in 2008. The average level of country peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.2 per cent.