Peace index ranks Afghanistan below Syria

Syria saw the sharpest decline in the history of the index, with a 70 percent drop in its peace score since 2008. Syria and North Korea, both of which spent a quarter of their GDP on violence containment, are the two countries where violence has the worst impact on the national economy.

Europe is the world's most peaceful region, according to the report, with 13 out of the top 20 most peaceful countries, including top rankers Iceland and Denmark. South Asia gets the worst scores, with Pakistan ranking just behind Russia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as one of the world's least peaceful places.

As for the United States, the country ranks 100th out of 162, weighed down by its poor score on incarcerations, military spending and interventions, and access to weapons.

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