Despite global threats of war and terrorism, the majority of countries in the world are becoming more stable, according to a recent report by the non-profit Fund For Peace.
The annual report is called the Fragile States Index.
Finland was ranked the most stable country in the world at 18.7, followed by Norway (20.5) and Switzerland (21.1). The United States ranked 21st due to high scores in “Group Grievance, Factionalized Elites, and Security Apparatus,” despite long-term economic improvement and improvements in political indicators such as state legitimacy, public services, human rights and refugees, the report notes.
On the other end, South Sudan was listed the most fragile country at 113.9 points. Somalia, the Central Africa Republic, Yemen and Syria were also named unstable. From last year, Ethiopia, Mexico and Turkey were listed as the most worsened countries. Mexico was steadily improving until this point, but fell in the rankings due to high levels of violence and high-profile organized crime.
Pakistan was the most improved in stability in 2017. The Fund For Peace cautioned that examining countries’ improvements on a year-to-year basis may be reflective of “bounce-backs” from previous years of trauma such as a recovery from a natural disaster. Georgia, Indonesia and Laos were the most sustainably improved of the year.
Steady long-term improvements indicate increasing levels of country stability. Economic and some political reforms have led Cuba to be the overall most improved for the past 10 years. Colombia, Germany and Serbia were also among the overall most improved over the last decade. Their improvements reflect the overall global trend towards stability.
The index assessed “178 countries based on twelve social, economic, and political indicators that quantifies pressures experiences by countries, and thus their susceptibility to instability.” The countries are ranked from 0-120 — the lower the score, the more stable the country.
It took into account both qualitative and quantitative data to holistically understand countries’ well-beings. For the past 13 years, the Fund For Peace has published the index to highlight areas of instability to policy makers and the general public. In the time that the index has been available, the majority of countries have improved their stability through “long-term commitment to peace and reconciliation, poverty-reduction, and economic growth.”