Living Planet Index by region

Zoological Society of London – WWF and Zoological Society of London
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What you should know about this indicator

Living Planet Index by region Zoological Society of London – WWF and Zoological Society of London
processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
September 1, 2023
Next expected update
August 2025
Date range
(1970 = 100%)
Unit conversion factor

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Living Planet Index (LPI) measure?

The Living Planet Index (LPI) provides a measure of wildlife abundance. It measures the average relative decline in population size since 1970 across a wide range of species.

What does the Living Planet Index (LPI) not measure?

The Living Planet Index does not measure:

  • Number of species lost
  • Number of populations or individuals that have been lost
  • Number or percentage of species or populations that are declining
  • Number of extinctions

What types of species are included?

Only vertebrate species are included in the LPI: this includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Only a small percentage (8%) of known species in these groups are included, and only some populations of these species are represented in the LPI.

Although it is one of the most comprehensive datasets for monitoring biodiversity trends, the LPI still only captures a small sample of global biodiversity. For example, insects, corals, fungi and plants are not included.

How many species does it cover? What is the geographical range of this coverage?

In its latest report, published in 2022, 31,821 populations across 5,230 species were included. It includes species and populations across all continents. However, there is a geographic bias in the data, with areas with higher levels of biodiversity monitoring, such as North America and Europe being overrepresented, and areas where biodiversity is richest, like the tropical regions, being underrepresented.

Where does the data for the LPI come from?

The underlying data for the LPI comes from a combination of published scientific articles, online databases and government reports. To be included, data points must contain a time series of vertebrate populations spanning any number of years from 1970 onwards.

What does the LPI show?

The latest results from the LPI indicate an average decline in the studied wildlife populations of 69% between 1970 and 2018.

Note that this does not mean that we have lost 69% of wildlife over this period. For a clear example of why this is the wrong conclusion, and how the LPI is calculated, see our example here.

How sensitive is the LPI to outliers?

The impact of extreme population declines and increases on the calculation of the global LPI (Living Planet Index) has been tested by removing these outliers from the dataset. Although there were slight variations in the results, the overall trend of the global LPI remained very similar, suggesting that extreme declines and increases do not significantly influence the trend of the index.

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

Retrieved on
September 1, 2023
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