Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, but exhibits a four per cent decline.

Iceland continues to uphold its status as the world’s most peaceful nation according to the latest Global Peace Index 2023, a position it has maintained since the inception of the GPI in 2009. However, Iceland’s overall score has exhibited a four per cent decline. 

Iceland’s recent developments


An unprecedented occurrence took place in 2022, as Iceland faced its first instance of terrorist activity. A group of individuals was apprehended for orchestrating an attack targeting the nation’s parliament and police. Concerns have arisen within the Icelandic law enforcement community regarding the potential for future terrorist attacks within the country. This was driven by the emergence of the neo-Nazi organisation, the Nordic Resistance Movement. Consequently, this development has contributed to Iceland’s decline in the safety and security domain, relinquishing its long-held first place position down to third. 

It is worth highlighting that Iceland’s citizens possess a significant number of firearms, with approximately 109,000 out of its 343,000 population owning guns. Although these firearms are primarily used for hunting purposes and are rarely involved in acts of homicide. It is also worth mentioning that Iceland maintains its status of possessing one of the lowest crime rates in Europe despite this fact. 

Within the Global Peace Index, Iceland continues to assert its dominance in the ongoing conflict and militarisation domain, retaining the top position. In the economic cost of violence domain, Iceland stands at 153rd place, illustrating its minimal expenditure per capita on violent activities, thereby positioning itself as one of the world’s least violence-prone nations. 


Download the Global Peace Index for more information on the world’s most peaceful nations and the state of global peacefulness. View the interactive maps for more in-depth data on Iceland’s domain scores.


Zoe Zapata

Zoe Zapata

Communications Associate


Vision of Humanity is brought to you by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), by staff in our global offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague, Harare and Mexico. Alongside maps and global indices, we present fresh perspectives on current affairs reflecting our editorial philosophy.