As you know, here on BobinOz, we love a good survey. We have looked at surveys about the best country to live in, the world’s most expensive cities, Australia’s best cities, the cost of living worldwide and also the cost of living in Australia.
You can check out all of these previous surveys in the links below…
- The OECD Best Country Better Life Index
- Australian Cities: Most Expensive in the World?
- And the Best City in Australia to Live in Is…
- The Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living 2012
- The Cost of Living “Comfortably” in Australia
But last week I discovered a new survey I hadn’t come across before and I just couldn’t resist it.
The Global Peace Index (GPI)
The GPI ranks nations around the world for their peacefulness. They take into account things like…
- Perceived criminality in society
- Jailed population
- Violent demonstrations
- Violent crime
- Weapons imported and exported
… and quite a bit more.
So, which country is the most peaceful in the whole world? Better than that, here’s the complete top 10…
2 =New Zealand
Hat tip to Iceland and congrats to our nearest neighbours New Zealand for coming joint second, but no gold stars for either Australia, the UK or the USA then. So how did they fair?
Well, first I have to say that Australia certainly feels safer to me than England did when I lived there. The streets here feel far less threatening, I feel very comfortable walking around after dark and so do many women.
Yes, I’m sure there are dodgy areas in Australia, but there are plenty of those in the UK as well. More I would say. That’s just my view, what do the people over at the GPI think?
Australia, the UK and USA
Australia are 22nd, having moved down from 18th last year and the United Kingdom are 29th, having slipped from 26th in 2011.
The United States are good way back in 88th position; they too have dropped from last year when they were 82nd.
No prizes for guessing the countries to avoid; Somalia are rock bottom in 158th position just below Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
What does it all mean?
In terms of Australia versus the UK, it’s probably fair to say there’s really not much in it according to the statistics. No surprises there then, in world terms both countries can surely be regarded as “safe”. But for me, the real surprise was in looking through the past results.
I left England at the end of 2007, and according to GPI the U.K.’s rank for that year was 49th! So, it appears that old Blighty has become a good deal safer since I left!
Well it wasn’t me causing all the trouble!
Seriously though, this does surprise me. Obviously I can’t judge, I’ve been out of the country nearly 5 years, but does the UK seem that much safer to those of you living there now? 2007 must surely have been a very quiet year compared to this year in which the London riots spread across the whole country as major cities were burned and looted?
Is it really safer in the UK now than it was then?
In fact, this particular index throws up a lot “is it really” questions. Like is it really safer in Nicaragua (81), Brazil (83) and Argentina (44) than in the USA?
I think the problem with this one might be in the weighting given to their 23 different factors. Let’s just take a look at two of them and the respective scores for our selected countries.
Perceived criminality in society:
- Australia 2.0
- UK 3.0
- USA 2.0
- Argentina 4.0
- Brazil 3.5
- Nicaragua 3.5
- Australia 4.0
- UK 4.0
- USA 5.0
- Argentina 2.0
- Brazil 3.0
- Nicaragua 1.0
If I’m reading these figures correctly, the high numbers for both of these factors indicate less peace. So it appears that the perceived criminality in society for Australia, UK and USA are much lower than those of Argentina, Brazil, and Nicaragua; but that seems to be offset because the first three countries have greater military capabilities than the second three.
Kind of makes sense in one way, kind of doesn’t in another.
Which is a very long way of me saying, actually, I don’t know what it means. Do you?