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

First Posted: 06/12/10 11:15 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 05:45 PM ET

New Zealanders have the distinction of living in the world's most peaceful nation, according to a new report released Thursday.

Prepared by the Sydney, Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace, the Global Peace Index (GPI) annually ranks 149 countries based on a range of variables, including corruption, crime rates, military spending and access to primary education.

The United States fared distinctly less well, coming in at 85th on the list, which placed us below both Cuba (72nd) and China (80th).

The GPI also lists the world's most violent country as Iraq, followed by Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan and Pakistan.

The report also estimates that world peace would save $7 trillion annually, and argues that the money now spent on security could be re-invested to make a given country more prosperous.

View the world's 15 most peaceful countries below:

New Zealand
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A Touch Rough
Totally At Peace

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World's Most Peaceful Countries
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Filed by Nicholas Sabloff  |