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Trends in Armed Conflict, 1946–2019

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Strand, Håvard; Siri Aas Rustad; Håvard Mokleiv Nygård & Håvard Hegre (2020) Trends in Armed Conflict, 1946–2019, Conflict Trends, 8. Oslo: PRIO.

Brief Points

  • The number of state-based armed conflicts in the world increased slightly from 52 in 2018 to 54 in 2019.

  • The number of direct casualties went down from 53,000 to 51,000. This is less than 50% of the 2016 figure, but more than twice the number of casualties recorded in 2010.

  • Afghanistan remains the deadliest conflict location in the world, with about 60% of all recorded casualties.

  • There were seven wars in 2019, up from six in 2018 but still lower than the 12 found in 2016.

  • The seven wars account for 84% of all conflict-related casualties.

In 2019, there were 54 active armed conflicts in the world, up from 52 in 2018 and matching the post–Cold War peak in 2016. Yet, the number of recorded casualties in 2019 – at about 51,000 – were only half of the 2016 level. At the same time, the number of countries affected by armed conflict is very high, and at par with the numbers in 1991 and 2016