Number of earthquakes, by country 1900-2016

From 1990 to 2016, China was the country with highest amount of earthquakes. Between that time period, they reported 157 earthquakes. Indonesia, Iran, Turkey, and Japan rounded out the top five countries with the most earthquakes.

What causes earthquakes?

When two tectonic plates, which make up the Earth’s crust, shift, it forces shock waves to shake the Earth’s surface, resulting in an earthquake. Earthquakes are measured are on the Richter scale, assessed on a scale of one to nine and higher. The earthquake in Chile in 1960 was the strongest earthquake worldwide, according to the Richter scale, with a magnitude of 9.5. Because earthquakes are not able to be predicted, they can cause more damage than other natural disasters which can be predicted.

Earthquake effects

Earthquakes have caused a lot of physical damage and casualties. 2004 saw the highest global death toll due to earthquakes, with 298,101 casualties. As a result of this scale of damage, a lot of money goes into repair. For example, the January 17, 1994 California earthquake was the most expensive earthquake to the insurance industry in the United States. Not only did China have the highest number of earthquakes, it was also the country with the most natural disasters in 2018.

Countries with the most earthquakes from 1900 to 2016

Number of earthquakes
China 157
Indonesia 113
Iran (Islamic Republic of) 106
Turkey 77
Japan 61
Peru 44
United States of America41
Italy 33
Afghanistan 32
India 32
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Release date

November 2016



Survey time period

1900 to 2016

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