Global Terrorism Index
The index provides a comprehensive summary of the key global trends and patterns in terrorism since 2000. It produces a composite score in order to provide an ordinal ranking of countries on the impact of terrorism.
It is an attempt to systematically rank the nations of the world according to terrorist activity. The index combines a number of factors associated with terrorist attacks to build an explicit picture of the impact of terrorism, illustrating trends, and providing a data series for analysis by researchers and policymakers.
The GTI is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) which is collected and collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. The GTD has codified over 150,000 cases of terrorism.
The GTI covers 163 countries, covering 99.7% of the worlds population.
The aim of the report is to examine trends and to help inform a positive and practical debate about the future of terrorism and the required policy responses.
The GTI was developed in consultation with the Global Peace Index expert panel.
There is no single internationally accepted definition of what constitutes terrorism, IEP accepts the terminology and definitions agreed to by the authors of the GTD, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) researchers and its advisory panel. The GTI therefore defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation”. This definition recognises that terrorism is not only the physical act of an attack, but also the psychological impact it has on a society for many years after.
In order to be included as an incident in the GTD the act has to be: “an intentional act of violence or threat of violence by a non-state actor". This means an incident has to meet three criteria in order for it to be counted as a terrorist act:
- The incident must be intentional – the result of a conscious calculation on the part of a perpetrator.
- The incident must entail some level of violence or threat of violence — including property damage, as well as violence against people.
- The perpetrators of the incidents must be sub-national actors. This database does not include acts of state terrorism.
GTI Scoring SystemEdit
The GTI score for a country in a given year is based on a unique scoring system to account for the relative impact of incidents in the year. There are four factors counted in each country's yearly score:
- Total number of terrorist incidents in a given year
- Total number of fatalities caused by terrorism in a given year
- Total number of injuries caused by terrorism in a given year
- The approximate level of total property damage from terrorist incidents in a given year
Each of the factors is weighted differently and a five-year weighted average is applied to importantly reflect the lingering psychological effect of terrorist acts over time. The weightings shown in the table below were determined by consultation with the GPI Expert Panel:
|Total number of incidents||1|
|Total number of fatalities||3|
|Total number of injuries||0.5|
|Sum of property damages measure||2|
The greatest weighting is attributed to a fatality. The property damage measure is further disaggregated into four bands depending on the measured scope of the property damage inflicted by one incident. These bandings are shown in the table below, whereby incidents causing less than US$1 million are accorded a weight of 1, between $1 million and $1 billion, and more than $1 billion. A great majority of incidents are coded in the GTD as an 'unknown' level of property damage, thus scoring nil, with 'catastrophic' events being extremely rare.
|1||Minor (likely < $1 million)|
|2||Major (likely between $1 million and $1 billion)|
|3||Catastrophic (likely > $1 billion)|
Example of a country's GTI ScoreEdit
To assign a relative number to how a country has been directly impacted by terrorism in any given year, for every incident recorded, the GTI calculates a weighted sum of all indicators. To illustrate, the table below depicts a hypothetical country's score for a given year:
|Dimension||Weight||# of records for the given year||Score|
|Total number of incidents||1||21||21|
|Total number of fatalities||3||36||108|
|Total number of injuries||0.5||53||26.5|
|Sum of property damages measure (depending on severity)||0-3||20||40|
|Total Raw Score||195.5|
Economic impact of terrorismEdit
The economic impact of terrorism is calculated using IEP’s cost of violence methodology.
The model includes both the direct and indirect costs, such as the lost life-time earnings, cost of medical treatments and property destruction from incidents of terrorism. The direct costs include those borne by the victim of the terrorist act and associated expenditure, such as medical spending. The indirect costs include lost productivity and earning as well as the psychological trauma to the victims, their families and friends.
The analysis presents conservative estimates of the economic impact of terrorism and does not include variables for which detailed appropriate data was not available. For instance, the analysis does not include the impact on business, the cost of fear from terrorism or the cost of counterterrorism.
The global economic impact of terrorism reached US$89.6 billion in 2015, decreasing by 15 per cent from its 2014 level.
There have been three peaks in the economic impact of terrorism since the year 2000 and they are linked to the three major waves of terrorism. The first large increase in the economic impact of terrorism happened in 2001, when the attacks of September 11 in New York City and Washington D.C. took place. The second peak was in 2007 at the height of the Iraq war. The 2007 increase is mainly attributed to al-Qa’ida affiliated terrorist groups and coincided with the coalition troop surge in Iraq. The third wave started in 2012 and is still continuing, with the economic impact of terrorism peaking at US$105.6 billion in 2014. The increase in the last four years was mainly driven by increases in terrorism in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
Publications by yearEdit
The first edition of Global Terrorism Index was published in 2012. The study covered analysis of 158 countries.
The 2012 report found that the global impact of terrorism increased significantly from 2002 to 2007, reaching its peak in 2007, and subsequently plateauing. The biggest rise took place over the period from 2005 to 2007 when the majority of the global increase in terrorism was driven by events in Iraq. Four other countries also significantly contributed to the global rise with Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and the Philippines all experiencing increases, especially between 2007 and 2009.
Only 20 nations scored a zero for terrorist impact over the 2002-2011 period, indicating the impact of terror, while heavily concentrated in some places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, was widely distributed around the world.
The countries most heavily affected by terrorism in 2011 were, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Yemen.
The second edition of Global Terrorism Index was published in November 2014. The study covered analysis of 162 countries.
In 2013 terrorist activity increased substantially with the total number of deaths rising from 11,133 in 2012 to 17,958 in 2013, a 61 per cent increase. Over the same period, the number of countries that experienced more than 50 deaths rose from 15 to 24. This highlighted that not only was the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth was increasing as well.
The countries most heavily affected by terrorism in 2013 were, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria.
The third edition of Global Terrorism Index was published in November 2015. The study covered analysis of 162 countries.
Terrorist activity increased by 80 per cent in 2014 to its highest recorded level. The largest ever year-on-year increase in deaths from terrorism was recorded in 2014, rising from 18,111 in 2013 to 32,685 in 2014. The number of people who have died from terrorist activity has increased nine-fold since the year 2000.
The rise in terrorism can largely be attributed to two groups: ISIS; and Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist group that pledged allegiance to ISIS in March 2015. Combined, these groups were responsible for 51% of all terrorism-related deaths in 2014.
The countries most heavily affected by terrorism in 2014 were, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria.
The fourth edition of Global Terrorism Index was published in November 2016. The study covered analysis of 163 countries.
In OECD member countries, deaths from terrorism dramatically increased in 2015, rising by 650 per cent when compared to 2014. Twenty-one of the 34 OECD countries experienced at least one terrorist attack with the majority of deaths occurring in Turkey and France.
|Rank||Country||Score||Change in score
(2015 to 2016)
|17||Democratic Republic of the Congo||6.633||0.209|
|20||Central African Republic||6.518||−0.229|
|62||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2.675||1.455|
|101||Trinidad and Tobago||0.499||−0.28|
|103||United Arab Emirates||0.422||−0.635|
|105||Republic of the Congo||0.365||−0.47|
|130||Papua New Guinea||0||0|
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- "Data Collection Methodology". www.start.umd.edu. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
- "Global Terrorism Index 2016". ReliefWeb. 2016-11-17. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
- "2012 Global Terrorism Index: Capturing the Impact of Terrorism from 2002 – 2011" (PDF). Institute for Economics & Peace (published 4 December 2012). n.d. ISBN 978-0-9874448-5-1. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017 – via ReliefWeb.
- "Global Terrorism Index 2014: Measuring And Understanding The Impact Of Terrorism" (PDF). Institute for Economics & Peace (published 16 November 2014). November 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 April 2017. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
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