RANKED: The least peaceful countries in the world

North Korea — the country that recently said it's considering a plan to fire nuclear-capable missiles at Guam — is one of the least peaceful countries in the world.

That's according to the 2017 Global Peace Index from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), which analyzes 162 nations and ranks them on their levels of peacefulness every year.

To compile the ranking, the IEP looked at 23 indicators, like violent demonstrations and weapons imports, across three categories: the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization. Collectively, the countries included make up 99.7% of the world's population.

Overall, the world became more peaceful in 2017 compared to 2016. In the past year, 93 countries became more peaceful, while 68 countries became less peaceful, according to the index.

The ones that ranked lowest, with the least peaceful country at #1, are below.

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The least peaceful countries in the world
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The least peaceful countries in the world

14. North Korea

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

13. Russia

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo by Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images)

12. Pakistan

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)
11. Democratic Republic of Congo

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit should read AGNES BUN/AFP/Getty Images)
10. Ukraine

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo by Maxim Scherbina/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
9. Central African Republic

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit SAMIR TOUNSI/AFP/Getty Images)
8. Sudan

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit should read ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images)
7. Libya

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit should read MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP/Getty Images)
6. Somalia

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit MOHAMED ABDIWAHAB/AFP/Getty Images)
5. Yemen

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit ABDULLAH AL-QADRY/AFP/Getty Images)
4. South Sudan

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
3. Iraq

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo by Iraqi Prime Ministry Office - Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
2. Afghanistan

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
1. Syria

Source: Global Peace Index

(Photo credit GEORGE OURFALIAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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Syria, which ranked as the least peaceful country in 2016 and 2016, is in the middle of a refugee crisis. An estimated 13.5 million Syrian civilians have fled war (and more than 6 million have been internally displaced) since the start of the country's civil war in 2011. It has been ranked amongst the world's five least peaceful countries since the 2013 Global Peace Index.

Regionally, the Middle East and North Africa remained the least peaceful region in the world in the 2017 index. Over the past year, Syria incurred the largest cost of violence as a percentage of its GDP at 67%. Globally, violence costs 12.6% of the world's GDP.

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