Despite its economic hardships, Portugal has been listed by the Global Peace Index for 2016 as one of the most peaceful countries in the world.
According to latest rankings, Portugal has climbed nine positions to hold fifth on the Index for this year and was also the country with the biggest improvements in Europe. Iceland, Denmark, Austria and New Zealand are the only other countries to have recorded better ratings.
The United Kingdom comes in at 47th, behind countries like Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Ghana.
The 2016 Global Peace Index overall shows the world became less peaceful in the last year, reinforcing the underlying trend of declining peace over the last decade.
Results also show a growing global inequality in peace, with the most peaceful countries continuing to improve while the least peaceful are falling into greater violence and conflict.
While the the world became less peaceful in 2015, many countries also improved.
In fact, slightly more countries improved, 81 – than deteriorated, 79. But as the size of the deteriorations was larger than the improvements, there was a decline in the global average.
The study used indicators such as public safety, police violence, murder rates, social justice, terrorism, conflicts, militarisation and spending on weapons.
The indicators with the largest yearly deterioration were the impact of terrorism and political instability.
Deaths from terrorism increased by 80 per cent from last year’s report with only 69 countries not recording a terrorist incident. The intensity of terrorism also increased with the number of countries suffering more than 500 deaths from terrorist acts more than doubling, up from 5 to 11.
The rise in political instability was globally distributed with large changes within many countries spread across many regions.
Among the countries with the largest deteriorations were Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Poland, Burundi, Kazakhstan and Brazil.