In 2018 the Global Peace Index (GPI) classified Portugal as the 4th safest country in the world.
Although it went down a place from 3rd in 2017 to 4th in 2018, having been overtaken by Austria, Portugal’s improvements have been significant. Note that in 2014 it had been classified in 18th place.
Portugal’s progress in the last few years are largely due to an improvement in political stability. Notably, its recovery from the financial crisis of 2010-2014 has led to more political-economic stability. In December 2017 its unemployment figures fell to a 13-year low, of 8%. In fact, unemployment has been falling constantly since its high point in 2013, in the midst of the financial crisis. Portugal’s 2018 ranking in the Global Peace Index is due to the fact that 65% of its indicator results have remained unchanged
In global rankings, Portugal finds itself in the top places six. In the last two years, it registered its best improvements in indicators of violence and political instability, reflecting its steady improvements in political stability after a process of economic and financial adjustments in coordination with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
In the section, Domestic and International Conflicts there were no downward changes, although some were noted in the State of Militarization.
Iceland maintained its first place as the safest country, a position it has maintained since 2008. New Zealand, Austria, Portugaland Denmark are the first 5 most peaceful countries.
Europe is the most peaceful region in the world but has continued its downward trend, for the third consecutive year. This deterioration has been registered in all three categories (1. Ongoing domestic and international conflicts; 2. Societal safety and security; 3. State of militarization) and in eleven indicators, especially in internal conflicts and relations with neighboring countries. For the first time in the history of the index, a Western European country experienced one of the five largest deteriorations, with Spain falling 10 places in the rankings to 30th, owing to internal political tensions and an increase in the impact of terrorism.
The report finds that peacefulness has a considerable impact on macroeconomic performance. In the last 70 years, per capita growth has been three times higher in highly peaceful countries when compared to countries with low levels of peace. Also, interest rates are lower and more stable in highly peaceful countries, as is the rate of inflation. Foreign direct investment is also much higher in these countries.