A must-see for candidates to Miss Universe

Although I will surely never have the honor of titling myself Miss Universe, I still have a dedicated interest in world peace. As many of you already know, I am also a map fanatic, and have a big appetite for visualizing data — or at least looking at other people’s visualizations.

As I was trying to educate myself about conflicts and insecurity around the globe the other day, I found this really nice website called Vision of Humanity, by the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia:

Vision of Humanity - Global Peace Index

Vision of Humanity – Global Peace Index

It basically combines a long range of world peace and security statistics with some simple and nice visualizations, delivered to you in the form of a clickable world map.

A couple of facts that really surprised me were:

* Sweden as the world leader in Export of weaponry. Not very flattering for a country still claiming its neutrality and bragging with 200 years of peace! A surprising runner-up here is also-neutral Switzerland, which makes me wonder whether these statistics also includes their export of Swiss Army knives.

* Russia’s impressive ranking (152th of 162 countries), just before well-known peace machines such as North Korea and Pakistan, and only marginally better than Iraq!

* The Czech Republic topping the ranking for Perceived criminality in society (where a higher ranking obviously means less perceived crime.

What I didn’t take the time to verify is a claim I read in a blog some months ago, namely that the Global Peace Index is for the first time sadly declining…

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