2022 update of the Small Arms Survey’s Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database

GENEVA—According to the latest update of the Small Arms Survey's Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database, loss of life resulting from interpersonal violence decreased substantially between 2016 and 2020.

The GVD database collates data on homicides and direct conflict deaths into a single ‘violent death’ indicator (not including suicides), dating back to 2004. In its 2022 update, estimating lethal violence as of the year 2020, the database reveals that the global rate of violent deaths decreased from 9.1 per 100,000 people to 6.8 per 100,000 people between 2016 and 2020. Similarly, firearm-related violent deaths on the global scale decreased from 3.9 per 100,000 in 2016 to 2.7 per 100,000 in 2020. In total, 531,000 people died violently in 2020, out of which 40 per cent (211,000) were killed by firearm.

However, while the decrease in the global violent death rate and count suggests a positive trend, the impact of ongoing conflicts (such as in Ukraine), as well as recent increases in homicides in some countries, risk reversing it. This also implies that possible progress towards meeting Target 16.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—reducing all forms of violence and related death rates—would similarly be stymied.

•    Read more in our blog post The calm before the storm: Global Violent Deaths update 2019–2020
•    For an overview of the main numbers and trends see our Global Violent Deaths in 2020 infographic
•    Check out our Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database page for other GVD-related content

Note: The Small Arms Survey regularly updates its GVD figures retroactively in order to take into account new information, as was done in this update for the years 2016–2020.