Global Terrorism Index 2018


Deaths from terrorism fall 44%, but terrorism remains widespread

This year’s Global Terrorism Index showed a continuing trend of a decline in terrorism, with deaths from terrorism falling for the third consecutive year, after peaking in 2014. The total number of deaths fell by 27% between 2016 and 2017, with the largest falls occurring in Iraq and Syria. The overall trend of a decline in terrorism deaths reflects the increased emphasis placed on countering terrorism around the world since the surge in violence in 2013. However, whilst the GTI finds that the global impact from terrorism is on the decline, it also shows that terrorism is still widespread, and even getting worse in some regions.


What caused the decline?

A fall in the intensity of conflict in the Middle East, the decline of ISIL, and an increase in counterterrorism activity has meant that the total number of deaths from terrorism declined for the third consecutive year, falling by 27% to 18,814 deaths in 2017. The year on year fall in deaths was mirrored by a fall in the number of attacks, which fell 23% from 2016 to 2017. Although the number of deaths from terrorism is now at its lowest level since 2013, it is still a major global threat. Deaths remain substantially higher than a decade ago, and are still nearly three times as high as the number recorded in 2001. Terrorism also remains a widespread problem, with 67 countries experiencing at least one death.


Europe had the biggest year on year percentage improvement, with total deaths falling by 75%. France, Germany, and Belgium all recorded significant falls in deaths from terrorism.


  • $52BN: Total global economic impact of terrorism

  • 94: Number of countries that recorded improvements in the Index

  • 27%: Decline in terrorism deaths compared to 2016

  • 5: Number of countries that recorded over 1000 deaths from terrorism.

  • 46: Number of countries that deteriorated in the GTI

  • 487: Number of people killed in 2017’s worst terrorist attack


  1. Iraq: The total number of deaths from terrorism in Iraq fell from 9,783 to 4,271 between 2016 & 2017, a 56% decline.

  2. Afghanistan: In 2017, Afghanistan was the country that recorded the highest number of deaths from terrorism.

  3. Nigeria: Total deaths from terrorism in Nigeria fell to 1,532 in 2017, a drop of 16% from the previous year.

  4. Syria: With the level of violence caused by the Syrian civil war on the wane, deaths from terrorism in Syria decreased by 48%.

  5. Pakistan: In 2017, Pakistan recorded its lowest number of terror-related deaths since 2006.