What is the Global Terrorism Index?

The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) is a comprehensive study analysing the impact of terrorism for 163 countries covering 99.7 per cent of the world’s population.

The GTI report is produced by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) using data from Terrorism Tracker and other sources. The GTI produces a composite score so as to provide an ordinal ranking of countries on the impact of terrorism. The GTI scores each country on a scale from 0 to 10; where 0 represents no impact from terrorism and 10 represents the highest measurable impact of terrorism.

Given the significant resources committed to counter-terrorism by governments across the world, it is important to analyse and aggregate the available data to better understand its various properties. One of the key aims of the GTI is to examine these trends. It also aims to help inform a positive, practical debate about the future of terrorism and the required policy responses.

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Key findings from the Global Terrorism Index 2024 report

  • • Deaths caused by terrorism increased by 22% to 8,352, the highest level since 2017.
  • • Attacks are more deadly as the number of terrorist incidents fell by 22% to 3,350, and number of countries reporting an incident fell to 50.
  • • In 2023, the US accounted for 76% of terrorism-related deaths in Western democracies, amid a 15-year low in incidents.
  • • The epicenter of terrorism has shifted out of the Middle East and into the Central Sahel region of sub-Saharan Africa, which now accounts for over half of all deaths from terrorism.
  • • Burkina Faso suffered the worst impact from terrorism, with deaths increasing by 68% despite attacks decreasing by 17%.
  • • Iraq recorded the largest improvement in the last decade with deaths from terrorism falling by 99% since the 2007 peak, to 69 in 2023.
  • • The impact of terrorism has become increasingly concentrated, with ten countries accounting for 87% of total terrorism-related deaths.
  • • Over 90% of terrorist attacks and 98% of terrorism deaths in 2023 occurred in conflict zones, underscoring the strong link between conflict and terrorism.

Key findings from the Global Terrorism Index 2023 report

  • • Attacks have become more deadly with the lethality rising by 26%.
  • • Terrorism deaths are down 9%, although this is attributed to the Taliban’s transition from terror group to state actor*.
  • • Outside Afghanistan, terrorism deaths rose 4% in the rest of the world.
  • • Islamic State (IS) and its affiliates remained the world’s deadliest terrorist group in 2022 for the eighth consecutive year, with attacks in 21 countries.
  • • Deaths from attacks by unknown Jihadists globally are eight times higher than in 2017, representing 32% of all terrorism deaths and 18 times higher in the Sahel.
  • • The Sahel is the most impacted region, representing 43% of global terrorism deaths, 7% more than the year prior.
  • • Declining terrorism in the West is met with intensified attacks in other regions.
  • • Terrorism thrives in countries with poor ecologies and climate-induced shocks.
  • • Drone technology and its use continues to rapidly evolve, especially with groups such as IS, Boko Haram and Houthis.

Key Trends in Global Terrorism Index 2022 report

  • • Despite global terrorist attacks increasing to 5,226 in 2021, deaths declined slightly by 1.2%.
  • • The Ukraine conflict is likely to drive a rise in traditional and cyber terrorism, reversing previous improvements in the region.
  • • Terrorism in the West declined substantially, with attacks falling by 68%. The US recorded its lowest score since 2012.
  • • Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 48% of global terrorism deaths.
  • • The Sahel is home to the world’s fastest growing and most-deadly terrorist groups.
  • • Islamic State (IS) replaces the Taliban as the world’s deadliest terror group in 2021, with 15 deaths per attack in Niger.
  • • Terrorism has become more concentrated, with 119 countries recording no deaths, the best result since 2007.
  • • In the West, politically motivated attacks overtook religious attacks, which declined by 82%. There were five times more political attacks than religious attacks.
  • • Terrorists are using more advanced technologies including drones, GPS systems and encrypted messaging services.

Also, read the Global Terrorism Index 2022 key findings.

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.
  • Afghanistan is the country most impact by terrorism in 2020.
  •  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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