World's Most Peaceful Countries: 2011 Global Peace Index (PHOTOS)

View The World's Least (And Most) Peaceful Nations

There are few bright spots in 2011's Global Peace Index, which reflects a more volatile planet in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international research body, the report found that the world has become "slightly less peaceful" in the past year, with a massive surge in the potential for terrorist acts and likelihood of violent demonstrations for the third successive year.

Still, it wasn't all gloom and doom, with Iceland topping the list of the world's most peaceful countries, followed by New Zealand and Japan in second and third place, respectively. At 82, the U.S. fared considerably worse, but still came in well ahead of Russia at 147 and Somalia, which ranked dead last at 153.

As the Guardian is reporting, officials base their rankings of 153 nations on 23 different indicators, from a country's level of military expenditure to its level of respect for human rights.

View the full report here.

View a selection of countries and their 2011 Global Peace Index rankings below:

Iceland - #1

2011 Global Peace Index

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