Direct economic losses and damage from natural disasters in 2019 were estimated at USD232 billion. This was reduced from recent elevated levels in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The USD232 billion was 3 percent lower than the average (USD239 billion) and 5 percent lower than the median (USD243 billion) during the 21st Century. The economic losses were a further 20 percent lower than the average and 12 percent lower than the median of the past decade (2009-2018).
As climate change continues to affect the frequency and intensity of weather events, and as demographic patterns shift around the world, the impact of natural disasters – including financial costs − will only increase. Building resilience and properly planned disaster mitigation efforts are therefore critical.