New Zealand is the world's most peaceful country, according to a newly published global survey.
People are out numbered 10 to one by sheep in New Zealand.
The South Pacific nation of four million people and 40 million sheep has knocked Iceland off its perch after violent demonstrations followed the collapse of Reykjavik's banking system.
The Global Peace Index, a report prepared for the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks 144 countries in a league table of peacefulness.
The index defines peace as "the absence of violence".
Twenty-three criteria on which the league table is compiled include political stability, risk of terrorism, murder rate, likelihood of violent demonstrations, respect for human rights, internal conflicts, arms imports and involvement in foreign wars.
It will be a source of quiet satisfaction for New Zealanders that Australia, their great rival across the Tasman Sea, managed to score only 19th place.
Nordic countries Denmark and Norway took their accustomed positions near the top of the table.
Britain, by comparison, was 35th, slightly higher than last year but one place below Botswana and one higher than Italy. Britain also ranks below most of the rest of Europe.
The United States came 83rd, dragged down by two foreign wars, a high prison population, and the wide availability of guns.
Its position did, however, mark a rise of six places, attributed to the number of years that have passed since 9/11 without suffering another terrorist attack.
Iraq was last for the third of the three years since the index was launched.
The report says the global economic recession and an increase in violent conflict and political instability around the planet took a toll on world peacefulness in 2008.
Clyde McConaghy of the Institute for Economics and Peace said: "Peace is a concrete aim that can be measured and valued, not just in social terms but in economic terms.
"There is a clear correlation between the economic crisis and the decline in peace."
In New Zealand, the report says last year's election of a Centre-Right government "with a strong popular mandate and a robust parliamentary majority" was a factor contributing to peacefulness.
Analysts also attribute the country's relative racial harmony in part to a now well-established institutional system for addressing historic Maori grievances.
Professor Kevin Clements, of Otago University in Dunedin, said: "The index is a pretty good reflection of countries people want to live in, because on bicultural issues and a variety of factors we are scoring well.
"If you look at the top 20, they are all small nations based on strong welfare principles, all with good and relatively uncorrupt governance."
Top 10 most peaceful nations: 1 New Zealand, 2 Denmark, 3 Norway, 4 Iceland, 5 Austria, 6 Sweden, 7 Japan, 8 Canada, 9= Finland, 9= Slovenia.
Ten least peaceful: 1 Iraq, 2 Afghanistan, 3 Somalia, 4 Israel, 5 Sudan, 6 Democratic Republic of the Congo, 7 Chad, 8 Pakistan, 9 Russia, 10 Zimbabwe.
New Zealand named world's most peaceful nation - Telegraph