An error occured. Details Hide
You have unsaved pages. Restore Cancel

From 1970 through 2014, terrorists killed more than 310,000 people worldwide and injured another 355,000, according to data from the University of Maryland's Global Terrorism Database. More than half of those fatalities - approximately 170,000 or 55 percent - have occurred since 2000; about 30 percent have occurred since 2010. Every year since and including 2012 has set a new record in total global terrorist attacks (see chart at the bottom of the page) and with these new attacks, we may be witnessing a shift in some longer-term trends in terrorism as groups seek new geographic footholds and more lethal means of seeking their desired outcomes.

The most notable long-term trends in terrorist incidents since 1970 have been pronounced shift in the geographic dispersion of attacks as well as the impact of the attacks in terms of injuries and fatalities.

  • The Middle East and North Africa along with South and Southeast Asia have witnessed an increase of terrorism-related incidents and injuries, although Asia experienced a lesser increase in related deaths and injuries. The terrorism incidents in the Middle East and North Africa started a steady upswing in the early 2000s, whereas the data shows that Asia's uptick has been more pronounced since 2008.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa, while a persistently violent region, has grappled with a historically dramatic increase in terrorism-related deaths as Boko Haram and others have become more lethal during the past couple of years.
  • In contrast, there has been a long-term downward trend in terrorism incidents in Europe; that is, until recently.

Explore the Global Terrorism Database summary data by selecting the indicator of terrorism activity from above the page and see the trends by selecting a country on the map.

Emergent Risk Situation Room

Interested in a global business intelligence subscription that includes datasets, visualization tools, and real-time information for assessing risk? Check out the Emergent Risk Situation Room from our partners at ERI.

Related Insights from Knoema

Did the World Become Safer in 2016?

News headlines around the world inundate us with stories about terrorism, conflict, social unrest, plane crashes, natural disasters, global economic crises and more, always more. One might even think that 2016 was the worst year ever for humanity. But, was it? At Knoema, we let the data speak for itself. We have collected the most frequently updated and the most up-to-date statistics from reliable sources to take a practical view of the state of the world and how it has changed over the last year. By at least some measures, the world ended 2016 better than it ended 2015, with at...

Forcibly Displaced People Worldwide | In Focus

The thousands of people fleeing their homes globally in search of safety have received more policy and media attention recently. There is a critical distinction between refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) and the humanitarian not to mention economic and political consequences of each. Refugees. This is the population fleeing their home countries where violence is raging to other countries in search of protection and assistance. Globally we have witnessed accelerated growth in the flow of refugees in recent years. During 2014, the refugee flow grew by almost a quarter...

Estimated Casualties of the Syrian Civil War

May 2016 - The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing multi-sided armed conflict with international interventions taking place in Syria. The unrest began in the early spring of 2011 within the context of the Arab Spring protests as nationwide protests erupted against President Bashar al-Assad's government. Government forces responded with violent crackdowns. The mass protests gradually morphed into an armed rebellion after months of military sieges. The estimated number of deaths in the conflict vary between 150,000 and 360,000 according to opposition activist groups, whereas the United...

Militant Groups of Africa: Boko Haram Continent's Most Deadly Group

You may also want to view other information in our recent series on conflict and terrorism:

Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to improve your online experience. They were placed on your computer when you launched this website. You can change your personal cookie settings through your internet browser settings.

Privacy Policy