Global Terrorism Index 2020

Open hands holding the words "People, Freedom and Hope" on strips of white paper in the right hand and the words "War, Alone, Anger, Fear, and Racism" on strips of black paper in the right hand, signifying that the world can be better.The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) in collaboration with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) led by the University of Maryland has released its Global Terrorism Index 2020 report.  The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) analyzes “the impact of terrorism for 163 countries covering 99.7 per cent of the world’s population” and “looks at the application of systems thinking to terrorism, using mainly statistical techniques and mathematical models to better understand the dynamics of terrorism and its subsequent impact on society.”  

Covering a span of 50 years, the 2020 report emphasizes trends in global terrorism over the last decade.  Important key findings note that while deaths from terrorism have decreased overall for the fifth consecutive year in a row, terrorism acts have become more widespread in some countries, especially in those of Sub-Saharan Africa, where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has expanded.  North America has seen a substantial 44.9 percent increased economic impact from terrorism in the last year, largely due to far-right political terrorism, which has increased by 205 percent in the last five years in North America, Western Europe, and Oceania.

The report also covers information on differing socio-economic conditions that drive terrorism, changes in terrorism over time, the political and ideological aims of terrorist groups, and the methods used to conduct terror attacks.

It is the goal of the IEP that their work can further “a better understanding of the cultural, economic and political factors that create peace.


Additional resources on terrorism and threats can be found on the HSDL Timeline and in our Featured Topics on Domestic TerrorismGlobal TerrorismLone Wolf Terrorism, and Suicide Bombers. Please note: HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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Author: Erin Dauphinais-Soos

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