TerrorismDeaths from Terrorism declined, but the Number of Countries Affected by Terrorism Is Growing

Published 20 November 2019

Deaths from terrorism have decreased by 15.2 per cent in 2018 to 15,952 globally. This is the fourth consecutive year of improvement. Terrorism situation has improved in 98 countries in 2018, nut the situation in 40 deteriorated. Deaths  from terrorism  in Europe fell by 70 per cent, with Western Europe recording its lowest number of terror incidents since 2012. There has been an increase in far-right terrorism in Western Europe, North America, and Oceania for the third consecutive year, with the number of deaths increasing by 52 percent in 2018. This trend has continued into 2019, with 77 deaths to the end of September 2019. The global economic impact of terrorism was$33 billion in 2018, a decrease of 38 percent from the previous year.

According to the 2019 Global Terrorism Index (GTI), deaths from terrorism fell for the fourth consecutive year, after peaking in 2014. The number of deaths has now decreased by 52 per cent since 2014, falling from 33,555 to 15,952. The annual Global Terrorism Index, now in its seventh year, is developed by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) and provides the most comprehensive resource on global terrorist trends.

The total number of deaths fell by over 15 per cent in 2018, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Somalia on the back of the defeat of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq and US-led airstrikes on Al-Shabaab. The fall in deaths was also reflected in country scores, with 98 countries improving compared to 40 that deteriorated. This is the highest number of countries to record a year- on-year improvement since 2004.

IEP notes, however, that whilst the GTI finds that the intensity of terrorism has declined, it also shows that terrorism is still widespread and increasing, with 71 countries suffering from at least one death. This is the second highest number since the beginning of the century.

The number of countries recording a death from terrorism increased from 67 countries to 71 in 2018.

 —Afghanistan had the largest increase in deaths from terrorism, up by 59 per cent from the prior year, and is now at the bottom of the index.

—For the first time since 2003, Iraq was not the country most impacted by terrorism.

—Other than Afghanistan only three other countries — Nigeria, Mali and Mozambique — recorded a substantial increase in deaths from terrorism in 2018. Each of these countries recorded more than 100 additional deaths.

—South Asia has had the highest impact from terrorism since 2002, while Central America and the Caribbean region has had the lowest impact.