Thinking Aloud: 2014 Global Terrorism Index

Nov. 21, 2014 by Darius 

This week, the Institute for Economics and Peace released its 2014 Global Terrorism Index.  Here are a few of the report’s main findings:

  • Nearly 18,000 people were killed by terrorist attacks worldwide last year, an increase of more than 60% from the previous year.
  • Iraq was the country most impacted by terrorism last year, suffering nearly 2,500 attacks, which caused more than 6,300 deaths. (Keep in mind: these numbers are for 2013 and highlight the persistent sectarian violence that preceded ISIS’s return to Iraq in the middle of 2014.)  Afghanistan and Pakistan were numbers two and three, respectively, while Nigeria and Syria rounded out the top five countries most impacted by terrorism.  More than 80% of global terrorism-related fatalities came in those five countries.  Perhaps surprisingly, India ranked as the sixth most-affected country.
  • Four terrorist groups (the Taliban, ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram) together caused 66% of terrorism-related fatalities last year.
  • Suicide attacks, despite their headline-grabbing nature, have accounted for only 5% of terrorist attacks since 2000.
  • There were 24 countries that experienced a terrorist attack that killed more than 50 people last year. On a more positive note, 75 countries did not experience a terrorist attack at all.
  • Terrorism does not occur in a vacuum, and it doesn’t come from nowhere: 90% of terrorist fatalities occurred in a country with gross human rights violations.

Finally, the report made the point that while terrorism is a major threat, it is not the primary danger to people around the world.  Regular homicides killed 40 times as many people as terrorist attacks around the world last year.

You can read the full report at

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