Historical Data

Studying history allows us to understand how and why the world arrived at its current state, and can give insights into where we may be going and how we can plan for the future. Historical data is constantly emerging and traditional perceptions of past events are revised or challenged on a regular basis. Individual events and figures have dominated historical study for millennia, however increasing importance is now placed on analyzing long-term trends to predict the future. History from the "bottom-up" has also become more popular in recent decades, where studying the experiences of individuals within groups or societies has broadened our collective knowledge of the past.

Number of British monarchs since 827CE
66
Casualties at the Battle of the Somme in 1916
Over 1.1m (over 300,000 fatalities)
World Health Organization declared the eradication of smallpox
May 8, 1980

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U.S. presidents 1789-2021

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Demographics

Similar trends are observable per country, but timing and scale often varies
Population of the world's continents from 1950 to 2020 (in millions)
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Historical demographic statistics cover trends in population, fertility, mortality, and migration, among others. A demographic transition has swept across the developing world in the past two centuries; with declines in mortality (particularly in infancy) creating a domino effect, leading to booming populations, increased life expectancy and lower birth rates. Alongside this transition, major events have altered the course of human demographic development, such as wars, pandemics and recessions.

Global population 10,000BCE to 2100
Fertility rate per continent 1920 to 2020
Annual number of African slaves forced across the Atlantic 1501 to 1866

Politics and leadership

How individuals shape history, and how societies shape their leaders
Number of countries where the highest position of executive power was held by a woman, in each year from 1960 to 2021*
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Throughout most of history, monarchs and leaders have come to represent the times and places over which they reigned. Between the 18th and 20th centuries, monarchical systems were gradually replaced by constitutional democracies, and suffrage has slowly been extended to more of the world’s population since this time. Nonetheless, this transition has been a gradual one across the globe, varying from country to country, and the strength (or lack) of democracy continues to vary by region.

U.S. presidents
Length of each British monarchs' reign from 827 to 2021
U.S. presidential elections

War, conflict, and diplomacy

Is history written by the victors?
Number of present-day countries* that held part of the British Empire, in each year from 1600 to 2000
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Armed conflict has been a fundamental part of human history, whether it is between two regional tribes or international alliances on a global scale. War can not only result in massive military casualties, but also devastate civilian populations and be catalytic in the spread of disease. Throughout history, wars have generally grown in scale, but are reducing in frequency. The study of armed conflict deals with the individual conflicts themselves, as well as their causes and consequences.

Number of present-day countries in the British Empire from 1600 to 2000
Treaty of Versailles
American Civil War

Medicine, health, and pandemics

As vaccination reduces the threat of viruses, chronic illnesses have become more dangerous
Global vaccination rates among one-year-olds regarding selected vaccines* from 1980 to 2019
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has thrust the global nature of human health into the spotlight. Historically, some deadly viruses were among the most feared aspects of human life, while the presence of others was simply an accepted reality. As medicine, hygiene, and healthcare has improved across the globe, many formerly-lethal diseases are now easily treated and preventable. However, the most common causes of death are now chronic illnesses, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancers.

Smallpox
Plague
Life expectancy during the Spanish Flu

Economy and trade

Over 500 years of economic globalization
Annual Gross Domestic Product and real GDP in the United States from 1930 to 2020 (in billion U.S dollars)
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Economic factors have been the motive and cause of much of humanity’s development throughout history. The desire for intercontinental trade paved the way for the era of colonialism establishing the highly globalized world in which we live today, and economic systems have evolved to match this. Of course, economic depressions and recessions have also had lasting consequences on all scales, adversely impacting both nation states and their citizens.

Value of 1 USD every year since 1635
GDP of Europe's largest economies since 1980
German reparations following the First World War

Industry Definition

Statista’s historical data not only deals with individual events from the past, but also looks at how certain trends have developed over time, and how the past is perceived today. Our historical statistics are usually accompanied by detailed descriptions that give context to the data and explain which factors have had an impact on long-term trends. Naturally, there is often a correlation between the age and reliability or availability of data; for this reason, estimates become increasingly important, and we ensure that only the most reliable sources are used. In addition to the broader areas of demographics, politics and economics, we also provide historical insights into other industries, such as media, sports, and technology.

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