Data Insights

Bite-sized insights on how the world is changing, written by our team.

July 19, 2024Hannah Ritchie

More than a million people die from road injuries every year

Chart showing the number of deaths from road injuries each year. Globally, this figure is around 1.2 million.

Around 1.2 million people die from road injuries every year. That includes the deaths of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

That’s around 2.3% of deaths from all causes.

As the chart shows, this death toll has barely changed for decades. However, with a larger global population, and many more cars on the road, this means the death rate from road injuries — the number of deaths per 100,000 people — has fallen.

Explore the data

July 18, 2024Bastian Herre

Recently, a smaller share of terrorism deaths have been caused by suicide attacks

According to data from the Global Terrorism Database, the share of deaths from suicide terrorism increased significantly after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Deaths from these types of attacks continued to be common in the following years, frequently making up about a quarter of all deaths due to terrorism.

However, from 2016 to 2020, the share of deaths from suicide attacks dropped. In 2021, which is the most recent data available, they made up only about 5% of terrorism deaths.

The same upward and downward trends can be seen in both the total number of deaths from suicide attacks and the share of all terrorist attacks that are suicide attacks.

Explore the data in absolute numbers

July 17, 2024Hannah Ritchie

Progress on reducing global hunger has stagnated

Line chart showing the share of the population that are undernourished. Globally this is just under 1-in-10.

The world has made much progress in reducing global hunger over the last 50 years. Despite fast population growth, the amount of food produced per person has continued to increase.

Rates of hunger — defined as not having enough calories to sustain a healthy and productive life — were estimated to be as high as 1 in 3 people in developing countries in 1970. Since then, rates have fallen substantially.

However, as you can see on the chart, this progress has stalled over the last few years. In some regions, it has even reversed. In 2017, 7.6% of the world did not get enough calories. By 2022, this had risen to 9.2%.

Conflict, extreme weather, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have all contributed to this reversal.

Explore the data

July 16, 2024Bastian Herre

Violence between Mexican drug cartels has surged in recent years

Line chart of non-state conflict deaths in Mexico since 1989. Deaths were almost zero before the 2000s, rose to a few thousand annual deaths in the following years, but have recently surged, with many thousand deaths each year.

In recent years, tens of thousands of people have died due to fighting between drug cartels in Mexico.

The chart uses data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program to show the country's deaths from “non-state conflicts” over the last thirty years.

These conflicts involve fighting between non-state armed groups, which in Mexico are criminal organizations like the Jalisco, Juarez, Los Zetas, and Sinaloa drug cartels.

Before the 2000s, there were relatively few deaths from these conflicts. The number of deaths then began to increase, reaching a peak of over 18,000 deaths in 2021.

Explore this data for other countries

July 15, 2024Hannah Ritchie

Every country has now banned the use of leaded gasoline in cars

Timelapse of the phase-out of leaded gasoline from 1986 to 2021

The world started adding lead to gasoline in the 1920s. It improved vehicle efficiency and engine performance. However, lead has proven to be a toxic pollutant, particularly for children. Using it in gasoline pollutes the air in cities worldwide, significantly impacting human health.

It took a long time for countries to start taking action. In 1986, Japan became the first country to ban leaded gasoline in cars completely. You can see this on the first map of the timelapse: at the time, leaded gasoline was still in use everywhere else. Since then, bans have been rolled out across the world.

Three and a half decades later, in 2021, Algeria became the last country to ban it. Leaded gasoline is now banned from being used in road vehicles in every country. It is a big win for the health of people around the world.

Read more on how the world eliminated lead from gasoline

July 12, 2024Bastian Herre

The rise and fall of homicides in Europe

A line graph showing the annual number of homicides per 100,000 people from 1950 to 2020 for Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Spain, and the Netherlands. They all saw their homicide rates rise and then fall over the course of the 20th century, with Italy seeing the most pronounced changes. Data source: WHO Mortality Database (2022). Note: The data is age-standardized for comparison.

Homicide rates in Europe surged in the second half of the twentieth century but have dropped over the last 30 years.

The chart shows the rates for several European countries based on data from the WHO Mortality Database.

You can see that this trend was most pronounced in Italy. Homicide rates more than doubled from less than 1 per 100,000 people in the late 1960s to more than 2 in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, rates have even fallen below earlier levels.

This rise and fall in homicides is relatively consistent across other European countries, although the timing and magnitude of these changes differ. France, for example, saw a wave of homicides in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Explore this data country by country

July 11, 2024Saloni Dattani and Veronika Samborska

Many countries lack regular data on mental health

This map, titled "Countries that have reported recent data on mental health, 2020," illustrates the reporting status of countries that have compiled and reported systematic data on mental health in the past two years. The map uses different colors to indicate the type of reporting.
The data source is the WHO Mental Health Atlas 2020 via UNICEF (2023). The map shows a diverse reporting landscape, with many countries in North America, Europe, and parts of Asia and Australia providing specific reports for public and private sectors. In contrast, several countries in Africa and parts of Asia and South America have either no mental health data or did not respond to the WHO survey.

Data on mental health is neglected or unavailable in many countries, especially in Africa and Asia.

The map shows which countries have reported recent data on mental health in the population and how they have reported them. This is based on surveys conducted for the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Atlas (2023).

Several countries have not compiled mental health data in recent years, as shown in red.

Other countries have compiled recent data, but only for general statistical purposes — without using it in specific reports to inform policy, planning, or management purposes. These countries are shown in light green.

Without regular data, it’s difficult to track whether progress is being made or if new problems are emerging and guide resources to address mental health issues.

This means many people’s difficulties with mental health can go unnoticed and unaddressed.

Read more on how researchers study the prevalence of mental illnesses

July 10, 2024Hannah Ritchie

6 in 10 people in the world regularly use the Internet

The Internet is one of the world’s fastest-growing technologies.

In 2010, just 30% of the global population was online. Within a decade, this figure had doubled to 60% in 2020. And it’s still growing rapidly, as the chart shows.

There are, however, large inequalities. In North America and Europe, more than 80% are online, compared to just 30% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The quality of this access is also very different: this indicator is based on someone having used the Internet at least once in the last three months. The experience of someone having non-stop connections on their smartphone will be very different from someone logging on in a public space once a month.

But the dominant trend globally — and across all regions — is that more people are coming online every year. It’s a technology that’s moving incredibly fast.

Explore the data

July 09, 2024Bastian Herre

How much do people value leisure?

Free time is important to most people around the world.

As shown on this chart, in many countries, leisure is important to more than 80% of people. This is based on data from the European Values Study and World Values Survey.

However, the percentage of people who find leisure “very important” varies more. In some countries, it is the majority; in others, it is less than a quarter.

People enjoy their free time, but valuing leisure a lot doesn’t mean people value work less or work fewer hours. In countries such as Nigeria, Mexico, and Indonesia, people put a high value on both these aspects of their lives.

Explore this data

July 08, 2024Fiona Spooner

The global malaria death rate increased for the first time in 20 years due to COVID-19

"Line graph showing the estimated deaths from malaria per 100,000 people from 1980 to 2021. The graph starts at around 12 deaths per 100,000 people in 1980, rises to a peak of about 15 deaths per 100,000 people around 2004, then gradually declines to about 9 deaths per 100,000 people by 2019. After 2019, the rate rises again to approximately 10 deaths per 100,000 people by 2021. Data source: IHME, Global Burden of Disease (2024)."

The death rate from malaria has gradually decreased since 2004, but disruption to healthcare programs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic caused a sudden increase in death rates in 2020 and 2021.

According to the latest Global Burden of Disease Study — published earlier this year by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) — the age-standardized death rate from malaria was 14.8 deaths per 100,000 in 2004 and had fallen by almost 40% in 2019, to 9.3 deaths per 100,000.

However, in 2020, it increased by around 12% to 10.3 deaths per 100,000, equivalent to around 80,000 additional deaths. Estimates from the World Health Organization also show a similar increase.

This increase is largely attributed to disruptions in malaria prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The increase was most noticeable in Africa, where IHME estimates that around 95% of malaria deaths occur.

Explore this data

July 05, 2024Lars Yencken

Life expectancy is lower in the United States than in other high-income countries

A line graph titled “Life expectancy in the United States is lower than peer nations” shows life expectancy from 1990 to 2021. The y-axis ranges from 60 to 85 years. The graph compares the United States (orange line) with Australia (green), Canada (blue), the United Kingdom (purple), and high-income countries (teal). The U.S. consistently has lower life expectancy, with a widening gap over time. Data sources: UN WPP (2022), HMD (2023), Zijdeman et al. (2015), Riley (2005). Credit: Our World in Data.

The world has seen big gains in life expectancy in recent decades, yet the United States increasingly lags behind peer countries.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the period life expectancy in the US was two years lower than the average for high-income countries, according to data from the UN World Population Prospects.

Healthcare spending as a share of GDP is much higher in the United States than in peer nations. This raises questions about equality in access to care, affordability, and the overall efficiency of the US healthcare system.

Other lifestyle and societal factors are also likely to play a role: the US, for example, has seen a surge in drug-related deaths in recent years as a result of the opioid crisis.

Read more on healthcare spending

July 04, 2024Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Pablo Rosado

India now consumes more coal than Europe and North America combined

A line chart titled “Coal consumption” shows the coal consumption measured in terawatt-hours (TWh), from 1965 to 2023. The chart features three lines representing India, Europe, and North America. India’s coal consumption (pink line) shows a continuous rise, significantly increasing since 2000. Europe’s coal consumption (green line) peaks around 1985 and then steadily declines. North America’s coal consumption (orange line) peaks in the late 2000s before declining sharply. The data source is the Energy Institute - Statistical Review of World Energy (2024). The chart is from Our World in Data.

According to the most recent data from the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy, India now consumes more coal than the continents of Europe and North America combined.

The chart shows this was not the case until recently. Coal consumption in Europe and North America was high for a long time but has significantly decreased in recent decades. At the same time, India’s consumption has steadily increased.

India has industrialized and is growing rapidly. It has a huge demand for cheap energy, and the country’s abundant coal reserves are being used to meet it.

On a per-capita basis, coal consumption in India has only just passed levels in either region. That’s after centuries of higher consumption in North America and Europe.

Explore our detailed data on energy production and sources, country by country

July 03, 2024Bastian Herre

Young people are less likely to vote than older people — often considerably so

Bar chart titled 'Young people are less likely to vote than older people.' The chart shows the share of people in each age group who voted in France (2022), the United Kingdom (2019), the United States (2020), and Germany (2021). Young people are less likely to vote than older people, often considerably so.

In many countries, there are large differences in voter turnout between young and older people. The chart shows the data for recent national elections in four countries.

In the 2022 French elections, 76% of those aged 18–24 voted, while 92% of people aged 50–59 did — a difference of 16 percentage points.

We see the same pattern in the UK and the US. Only slightly more than half of young people voted in their 2019 and 2020 elections, while around three out of four older people did.

This data comes from post-election surveys by Insee, the British Election Study, the US Census Bureau, and the Federal Returning Officer of Germany.

Explore more data on voter turnout around the world

July 02, 2024Edouard Mathieu and Hannah Ritchie

The United States has, by far, the highest death rate from opioids

Death rates from illicit drugs are the highest in the United States. This is largely the result of a steep rise in opioid deaths in recent years.

This map shows death rates from opioid overdoses, measured as the number of deaths per 100,000 people in each country’s population. This data comes from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s latest Global Burden of Disease study.

In 2021, the United States had, by far, the highest death rate from opioids, with 15.4 deaths per 100,000 people each year. Second behind it was Canada, with 6.9 deaths per 100,000. Several European countries and Russia counted between 3 and 4 deaths per 100,000.

This is not only the case for opioids: the US also has the highest death rate from amphetamine and cocaine overdoses.

Explore this data by country and over time

July 01, 2024Hannah Ritchie and Pablo Rosado

China now uses about the same amount of energy per person as the European Union

Line chart showing the change in energy use per person in China and the EU. These lines have converged and are now about the same.

Energy demand in China has increased rapidly over the last few decades due to rising incomes and industrialization.

The country now uses about the same amount of energy per person as the European Union. You can see this in this chart, with new data from the Energy Institute’s Statistical Review of World Energy.

This measure of primary energy is based on the substitution method, which tries to account for the inefficiencies of fossil fuels compared to renewables.

Note that this does not account for energy embedded in traded goods, so some of this increase in China has come from producing goods exported to other countries.

We have just updated our energy data based on the latest release

June 28, 2024Bastian Herre

More countries have legalized same-sex marriage, but others have explicitly banned it

Stacked area chart showing that the number of countries that partially or fully ban marriage for same-sex partners has increased to more than 30 in recent decades, while the number of countries that have partially or fully legalized it has similarly increased.

While some countries have granted more rights to LGBT+ people, others are moving in the opposite direction.

The chart, based on data from researcher Kristopher Velasco, shows that five countries had an explicit ban on same-sex marriage in 1991. Their laws did not just say nothing about same-sex marriage; they had laws that made it explicitly illegal.

By 2019, this number had increased to 37 countries, concentrated in Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

These marriage bans have happened while a similar number of countries have legalized same-sex marriage.

In this way, LGBT+ rights have become more polarized: some countries have introduced progressive laws, while others have become more regressive.

Read more in our new article on LGBT+ rights

June 27, 2024Hannah Ritchie

Indoor air pollution causes over three million premature deaths every year

Most of the world's poorest people still rely on solid fuels — such as crop waste, dung, wood, and charcoal — for cooking and heating.

These fuels cause damaging air pollution in households when they’re burned.

According to estimates from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, indoor air pollution prematurely kills more than three million people each year.

As shown on the chart, deaths from indoor pollution are falling as more people get access to cleaner cooking fuels. Improving access to clean energy could prevent many more early deaths.

Explore this data

June 26, 2024Saloni Dattani

Funding to study neglected tropical diseases and develop new technologies is very limited

This chart, titled "Annual research & development funding for neglected tropical diseases, 2022," shows the total annual funding reported for research and development to address various neglected tropical diseases (indicated in blue), as compared to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19 (indicated in purple).

The data source is Policy Cures Research (2023), and the values are expressed in constant 2022 US dollars. The chart highlights the following funding amounts:

COVID-19: $4.22 billion
HIV/AIDS: $1.35 billion
Tuberculosis: $702.43 million
Malaria: $603.53 million
Dengue: $81.83 million
Chagas disease: $42.71 million
Schistosomiasis: $38.88 million
Leishmaniasis: $37.81 million, and more.

This chart shows the amount of annual funding for research and development (R&D) to understand, treat, and develop technologies against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This data comes from Policy Cures Research’s G-FINDER project.

Less than $100 million is spent on R&D for most NTDs, despite millions of people being affected by these diseases —  which include dengue, leishmaniasis, and trachoma.

Without funding, it’s very difficult to develop new medicines, vaccines, and technologies to reduce suffering and disability for the millions of people affected by these diseases.

We know that effective funding works. Large public health initiatives have helped fund research against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and COVID-19 and have saved millions of lives.

Explore the data

June 25, 2024Tuna Acisu

People’s self-reported life satisfaction varies widely across countries

A world map indicating self-reported life satisfaction for each country. Darker shades of green show higher life satisfaction in, e.g., Europe, Australia, North America, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil. Lighter shades show lower life satisfaction in, e.g., Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and many African countries.

How satisfied are people with their lives? Answering this question can give us important insights into what matters to people and the circumstances that lead to a fulfilled life.

The World Happiness Report has published data on life satisfaction — based on the Gallup World Poll — since 2012 and covers more than 140 countries worldwide. We have just updated our charts with the latest data.

It measures life satisfaction by asking people to rate their lives on a ladder from 0 to 10, where their worst possible life is 0 and their best possible life is 10.

The resulting score is averaged over the last three years to focus on longer-term shifts.

Despite drastic experiences like the COVID-19 pandemic, overall life satisfaction remains remarkably consistent globally. We can also observe correlations with other measures of well-being: healthier and richer countries tend to have higher average life satisfaction scores.

Explore our data on happiness and life satisfaction

June 24, 2024Fiona Spooner

COVID-19 was the third largest cause of death in 2021

This image is a horizontal bar chart titled "Global causes of death," sourced from IHME, Global Burden of Disease (2024). It lists various causes of death worldwide, with each cause represented by a horizontal bar indicating the number of deaths in millions. The causes are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:

Cardiovascular diseases: 19.41 million
Cancers: 9.89 million
COVID-19: 7.89 million (highlighted in orange)
Respiratory diseases: 4.41 million
Digestive diseases: 2.52 million
Lower respiratory infections: 2.18 million
Dementia: 1.95 million
Neonatal disorders: 1.83 million
Diabetes: 1.66 million
Kidney diseases: 1.53 million
Liver diseases: 1.43 million
Road injuries: 1.2 million
Diarrheal diseases: 1.17 million
Tuberculosis: 1.16 million
Malaria: 748,131
Suicide: 746,379
HIV/AIDS: 718,079
The chart uses a color code where most bars are in blue, except for COVID-19, which is in orange. The source and licensing information is at the bottom right corner of the image.

According to the latest Global Burden of Disease Study — published last month by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) — COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in 2021, after cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

These estimates suggest that COVID-19 was responsible for around eight million deaths in 2021. In many countries across South America and sub-Saharan Africa, the IHME reports that it was the leading cause of death.

Global improvements in healthcare have led to a steady reduction in the death rate from infectious diseases in recent decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed this trend.

Explore this data