Global Terrorism Index

The 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) marks the eighth edition of the report. We provide a summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism over the last 50 years.

2020 Global Terrorism Index: Key Findings

– Deaths from terrorism fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 to 13,826 deaths, representing a 15% decrease from the prior year.

– The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Russia and Eurasia, South America and South Asia regions all recorded falls in deaths from terrorism of at least 20%.

– Although terrorism has fallen in most regions, it has become more widespread in others. Seven of the ten countries with the largest increase in terrorism were in sub-Saharan Africa.

– Burkina Faso had the largest increase in terrorism, where deaths increased by 590 per cent to 593. This was followed by Sri Lanka where terrorism deaths increased from one in 2018 to 266 in 2019.

– Afghanistan remains the country with the highest impact from terrorism. However, terrorism deaths in the country declined in 2019 for the first time in three years.

– The Taliban remained the world’s deadliest terrorist group in 2019. However, terrorist deaths attributed to the group declined by 18% to 4,990. Whether the peace talks in Afghanistan have a substantial impact on terrorist activity remains to be seen.

Trends from the 2020 Global Terrorism Index

– Deaths from terrorism are now 59% lower than their peak in 2014. The fall in deaths has been largest in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria.

– The overall fall in deaths from terrorism has also led to a reduction in the number of countries experiencing deaths from terrorism. In 2019, 63 countries recorded at least one death from terrorism, the lowest number since 2013.

– The impact of terrorism lessened in seven of the nine regions of the world in 2019.

– South Asia recorded the largest deterioration, followed by Central America and the Caribbean.

– However, Central America and the Caribbean remains the region with the lowest impact of terrorism, a position it has held for the past 17 years.

– MENA recorded the largest regional improvement for the second consecutive year. Deaths in MENA have fallen by 87% since 2016, reaching the lowest level since 2003.

– More recently, terrorist activity has been concentrated in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with both regions having recorded more terrorism deaths than MENA since 2018.

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