Global number of reported natural disasters by the number of deaths

What you should know about this indicator

  • EM-DAT defines a disaster as a situation or event which overwhelms local capacity, necessitating a request to the national or international level for external assistance; an unforeseen and often sudden event that causes great damage, destruction, and human suffering. Of all EM-DAT disasters, we select geophysical, meteorological, hydrological, and climatological events, which include droughts, earthquakes, extreme temperatures, floods, glacial lake outburst floods, mass movements, extreme weather events, volcanic activity, and wildfires.
  • EM-DAT counts deaths as deceased and missing people combined, as a result of a natural disaster.
  • A disaster has an unknown number of deaths if there is no data available on the number of total deaths for that reported event.
EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
April 11, 2024
Next expected update
April 2025
Date range

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

EM-DAT contains data on the occurrence and impacts of mass disasters worldwide from 1900 to the present day. EM-DAT data includes all categories classified as "natural disasters" (distinguished from technological disasters, such as oil spills and industrial accidents). This includes those from drought, earthquakes, extreme temperatures, extreme weather, floods, glacial lake outburst floods, mass movements, volcanic activity, and wildfires.

Retrieved on
April 11, 2024
Retrieved from
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain, Brussels, Belgium -

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  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
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How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Global number of reported natural disasters by the number of deaths”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain. Retrieved from [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain (2024) – with major processing by Our World in Data. “Global number of reported natural disasters by the number of deaths” [dataset]. EM-DAT, CRED / UCLouvain, “Natural disasters” [original data]. Retrieved June 20, 2024 from