Our World In Data

Satellite view of hurricane

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century

According to a recent study from Our World In Data, in the early-to-mid 20th century, the average annual death toll from disasters was very high, often climbing to over a million. In recent decades, such deaths are typically fewer than 20,000 people, even as natural disasters become more frequent and more extreme.

Global death tolls from natural disasters have plummeted over the last century More

Smiling baby

Global child mortality rate plummets from a historical average of 48% to 27% in 1950

As recently as two centuries ago, around 1 in 2 children died before reaching the end of puberty. Our ancestors were largely powerless against poverty, famine, and disease, and these calamities were especially devastating for children. Since then, child mortality has plummeted across the world. This dramatic decline has resulted from better nutrition, clean water, sanitation, neonatal healthcare, vaccinations, medicines, and reductions in poverty, conflicts, and famine.

Global child mortality rate plummets from a historical average of 48% to 27% in 1950 More