The world is now 0.28 percent more peaceful than it was last year, according to a new study from the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace.
The institute's Global Peace Index said it was the first time levels of global peace on the planet has decreased since the start of the Syrian war, BBC News reported. Despite the drop, the institute's study said that conflicts around the world continued to have a large economic impact.
"Although this year's up-tick is reassuring, the world is still mired with conflict in the Middle East, political turmoil in the U.S., refugee flows and terrorism in Europe," Steve Killelea, founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace, told The Independent.
The index measures 23 indicators to get its score, including incidents of violent crime, levels of militarization, weapons imports, as well as refugee tallies and the number killed in internal conflict, The Independent noted.
The Global Peace Index improved in 93 countries and deteriorated in 68 countries, according to the institute. Iceland continued to be the most peaceful country in the world, which it has been since 2008. Syria remained the least peaceful, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen, according to the study.
The Independent noted that an estimated 500,000 have been killed in Syria's six-year civil war, which has dragged in regional and world powers like the United States and Russia.
The study claimed that North America's regional peace deteriorated because of the "level of perceived criminality in society and the intensity of organized internal conflict."
"The latter measure has deteriorated because of the increased levels of political polarization within the U.S. political system," the study said. "The U.S. also has experienced the fourth largest drop in Positive Peace globally, after Syria, Greece and Hungary in the 10 years to 2015."
The study said that Europe remained the most peaceful region in the world despite recent terror attacks, with eight of the 10 most peaceful countries coming from the region.
The study said that while 23 of the 36 countries improved, the average score of the region did not notably change because of substantial deterioration in Turkey, terrorist attacks in Brussels, Nice, and Paris, and deteriorating relations between Russia and its Nordic neighbors.
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