×

Global violence cost you $1,876 in 2015

Syrian men carry a body on a stretcher amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Al-Qatarji in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 29, 2016.
Ameer Alhalbi | AFP | Getty Images
Syrian men carry a body on a stretcher amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Al-Qatarji in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on April 29, 2016.

Violence, globally, cost each individual on earth $1,876 in 2015, or 13.3 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP), according to a new report by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).

That's a staggering total of $13.6 trillion - the equivalent of 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.

And in the last ten years, the economic impact of violence has cost the world $137 trillion, according to the index which was released this week. The cost includes money spent on the military, on private security in areas of violent conflict and on UN peacekeeping forces among other things.

Even more depressingly - there are just ten countries on the globe that are considered to be fully at peace: Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Japan, Mauritius, Panama, Qatar, Switzerland, Uruguay and Vietnam- which are all free from both internal and external conflict.

These rank differently to the world's most peaceful countries- in which Iceland ranks number one- but don't enjoy "absence of the fear of violence," explained Thom Morgan, IEP research fellow and one of the authors of the report, to CNBC.

Denmark, Austria, New Zealand and Portugal also rank among the world's most peaceful countries.

"They [the most peaceful countries] may have a small commitment to supporting Afghanistan or Syria, for example – whether it be peacekeeping or aid," said Morgan, on Thursday to CNBC, therefore not making them free of conflict.

Nearly 1 percent of the world's population are refugees and displaced persons. The figure has risen dramatically over the last decade, doubling to approximately 60 million people between 2007 and 2016. There are now nine countries with more than 10 percent of their population displaced in some form, including in Syria – the world's most dangerous country- which has been "fairly consistent" in terms of ranking at the bottom of the index in the past few years, said Morgan.

However, over the past decade, both Syria and Libya are the list's biggest movers, having not been anywhere near the bottom of the list when the index was started ten years ago. Today, "no country comes close" to Syria's impact on the conflict scale, said Morgan, with 60 percent of its population refugees or displaced persons.

Europe, although once again considered the world's most peaceful region in the index, saw its score move down due to the attacks in Paris and Brussels and its involvement in wars in the Middle East. In fact, only 23 percent of countries listed have not experienced a recent terrorist incident.

The IEP also highlighted Brazil as a "striking" case, said Morgan. The South American giant, which recently experienced a huge political upheaval, has dropped five places in the index, due to factors such as an "increase in political instability and rising incarceration rates," Morgan told CNBC.

The IEP also noticed a "growing inequality of peacefulness" in the index, said Morgan. The countries with strong peaceful indicators only became more peaceful, while the ones that experienced conflict, such as Syria, only seem to worsen.


Follow CNBC International on Twitter and Facebook.