Massive drop in deaths from natural disasters

Natural Disaster Summary Chart 1900 – 2011

deaths from natural disasters

Here’s a really interesting bit of data via @HansRosling about the amazing decline in deaths resulting from natural disasters. Even though the number of disasters reported and the number of people affected has climbed substantially (no surprise given the better telecommunications and technology we have access to these days, and the global growth in population), the number of deaths from natural disasters has dropped by around 90% since 1920. As Matt Ridley has argued in The Rational Optimist, this may be explained as much by preparedness and relative wealth of the affected region than anything else: in 2007 category five hurricane Dean hit the well prepared (and relatively wealthy) Yucatán Peninsula and killed around 45 people; a year later the category four cyclone Nargis hit the poorly prepared and impoverished Burma killing around 138,000 people.

Source –


Can we dump the term “developing world” as soon as 2030?


Hans Rosling is one of the world’s greatest living presenters. Couple that with some jaw-dropping use of technology, and you’ve got the makings of a brilliant video, which is precisely what this is. The fact that it is only 2.51 long AND also busts a few myths you might be holding about Africa in the process makes it my number one must-see video this week.

Question: I like the way he breaks down the stats for Ethiopia. This set me thinking. If you broke down the stats for, say, the USA or UK, would we find some states or counties that were essentially in a “developing” stage? Would be interesting to find out…