Monitoring Trends in Violent Deaths

Submitted by Small Arms Survey

In the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Small Arms Survey is pleased to announce a new series of reports designed to support global efforts to reach targets under Sustainable Development Goal 16 (SDG16). To promote the sharing of information and encourage collaboration in this context, the Survey is also providing online access to its updated database on violent deaths and corresponding interactive maps.

Under SDG16, Target 16.1 commits all states to ‘[s]ignificantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere’. Monitoring Trends in Violent Deaths, the first in a new series of SDG16 reports, establishes a global baseline of violent deaths for Target 16.1, with the aim of helping states to gauge changes in the incidence of violent deaths—a composite indicator comprising data on homicide and direct conflict deaths.

Key findings of this report include the following: - In 2010–15, an average of 535,000 people died violently every year. This global estimate is higher than the ones for the periods 2004–09 and 2007–12. - A growing number of people are dying in conflict: while an annual average of 70,000 deaths were recorded in 2007–12, the figure rose to 90,000 in 2010–15. The armed conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria are responsible for a large proportion of these deaths. - The global homicide rate is continuing its decrease, but not enough to offset the increase in conflict deaths in 2010–15. - The vast majority (83 per cent) of victims of fatal armed violence lose their lives outside of conflict zones. Direct conflict deaths account for the remaining 17 per cent. - The global distribution of violence is becoming increasingly unequal: fewer countries are registering high violent death rates (above 20 per 100,000 population), but their average violent death rates are on the rise. - In absolute numbers, more lives were lost to violence in 2015 in large countries that were not experiencing conflict, such as Brazil and India, than in war-torn Syria.

The analysis relies on new data from the Small Arms Survey’s database on violent deaths. The new data—which includes figures on firearm homicides and female homicide victims—extends through the end of 2015 or the latest available year.

  • Updated 10 June 2020 | Dataset date: December 31, 2018-December 31, 2018
    This dataset updates: Never
    The Small Arms Survey tracks statistics on violent deaths and compiles them in its Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database. Within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), states have pledged to ‘[p]romote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’ (SDG 16). The first target identified under this goal, Target 16.1, commits all states to ‘[s]ignificantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere'. The GVD database, updated annually, provides a tool for assessing progress in implementing Target 16.1. It contains data starting from 2004 and includes datasets on direct conflict deaths, homicides, violent deaths by firearms—including the prevalence of firearms-related killings of women, as well as figures for women victims of lethal violence more generally. The database contains data from 2004 and includes direct conflict deaths and homicide data sets as well data on 'unintentional homicides' and 'legal interventions deaths'. The database served as the backbone of the Global Burden of Armed Violence reports. Data will be updated and shared once a year.