Global Cooperation

War is killing fewer people than ever before

Mark Jones
Head of Digital Content, The World Economic Forum
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Global Cooperation?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Global Governance is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Global Governance

The tendency for international news to focus on violent conflict makes it hard not to conclude that the world is getting more dangerous.

But a growing body of evidence suggests the opposite is the case.

Harvard Professor Steven Pinker charted the pacification of human society from pre-history to the 20th Century in The Better Angels of Our Nature and found death rates from conflict falling from 15% per annum to 3%.

Now Oxford University economist Max Roser has charted the available statistics on conflict since 1400 on OurWorldInData.


The chart uses a logarithmic scale for deaths, which means the reduction in conflict mortality rates in the 20th Century is sharper than it appears at first sight.

Author: Mark Jones is Commissioning Editor for the World Economic Forum

Image: Iraqi girls gesture as they celebrate after Iraqi security forces entered the town of Amerli September 1, 2014. REUTERS/ Stringer

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Global CooperationEmerging Technologies
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Children are at climate change's sharp edge — we must do more to protect them

Blair Palmer

June 21, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum