New Zealand most peaceful nation

New Zealand has been named the most peaceful nation for the second year running, smashing Australia which barely managed to scrape into the top 20.

The fourth annual Global Peace Index (GPI), compiled by global think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, looked at the relationship between economic development, business and peace.

The report examines key areas of conflict, safety, security and military factors in 149 countries.

Their latest index, presented on Tuesday, suggested the world has become slightly less peaceful in the past 12 months.

New Zealand took out the top spot because of its political stability, safety and harmonious relations with neighbouring countries like Australia, which came in at number 19 in the poll.

The “peace indicators” which the Kiwis outshone their trans-Tasman neighbours in were the number of conflicts fought, the likelihood of violent demonstrations, the level of security required per capita and a number of military factors.

The Kiwis were followed by Iceland and Japan in the poll, while Austria and Norway rounded out the top five.

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