Interesting Article: for 2008 Ranking click here WASHINGTON, May 30 (OneWorld) - The first study to rank countries around the world according to their peacefulness and identify the drivers that create and sustain peace was released here today by Clyde McConaghy, president and CEO of the Global Peace Index. Norway took the crown for most peaceful nation, followed closely by New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, and Japan. The United States and Iran received nearly equal -- and low -- scores, placing 96 and 97 on the list, and Iraq placed dead last, just below Sudan and Israel. Chile and Bhutan were the highest-ranked developing nations, placing 16 and 19, respectively. The Global Peace Index, initiated by international businessman and philanthropist Steve Killelea and co-produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), measures and ranks the current peacefulness of 121 nations based upon an average score derived from 24 key indicators. The indicators, which range from a nation's level of military expenditure to its relations with neighboring countries and its level of respect for human rights, allowed EIU's team to score and rank each nation as well as identify common "drivers" that make for the most peaceful societies. Among these are high levels of income, schooling, and regional integration. Peaceful nations were also found to share high levels of transparency in government and low levels of corruption. The Global Peace Index has been endorsed by several Nobel Laureates and many other notable dignitaries, and has drawn support from several non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the Washington, DC-based Alliance for Peacebuilding, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in California, and OneWorld, a network of people and organizations who care about the world "beyond their own borders." The new measurement of peacefulness should allow governments, NGOs, and businesses to more effectively replicate initiatives whose success can now be more accurately measured and evaluated, said the Global Peace Index's founders. According to the Index's sponsors, this data will make it easier for NGOs to invest in more appropriate aid programs for each country, provide a tool to hold aid recipients accountable, and, over time, provide a benchmark for the overall performance of all world actors working for peace. To view the Global Peace Index and receive more information about the study visit their Web site at http://www.visionofhumanity.com .