The "Global Peace Index," compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, looks at 24 indicators of the existence or absence of peace. These include the level of respect for human rights, the rate of homicides and violent crimes, the level of militarization and access to weapons, and the number of external and internal conflicts fought.
Number one on the 2008 list is Iceland. The United States dropped from 96 to 97 in this year's ranking.
Of course, the U.S. can be proud to say it ranks higher than Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya. However, it's interesting to note that China ranks 67th, despite the fact that it is a communist dictatorship, Syria 75, Libya 61, and our neighbors to the North, who many compare to the U.S. in terms of lifestyle, economy, and more, Canada is 11th.
The idea for the index came from Steve Killelea, an Australian businessman and philanthropist who wanted to identify just what creates a peaceful country.