Additional information on the Global terrorism index
The Global Terrorism Index is an annual ranking produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. As even the definition of terrorism is hotly debated, it is essential to highlight that the methodologies used to measure terrorism are also contested. The Global Terrorism Index ranks 163 countries on four indicators weighted over five years. These four factors are: the number of terrorist incidents per year, the number of fatalities caused by terrorists per year, the number of injuries caused by terrorists per year, and total property damage caused by terrorism per year.
Terrorism comes in a number of forms from a variety of groups with differing intentions. The recent destruction caused by Islamic State and Boko Haram can help to explain the high rankings of Iraq and Nigeria respectively. The operation of numerous groups alongside or in conflict with Islamic State led to Iraq falling victim to the largest number of attacks in 2017. The effect of including this metric in the Global Terrorism Index is the high rankings of Afghanistan and Pakistan who were second and fourth respectively in the most attacks globally for 2017.
On the non-human casualty side of the index, property loss is an important metric as loss of shelter or livelihood has a long lasting impact on those who survive the attack physically unharmed. The high percentage of attacks in advanced economies in the most expensive terrorist attacks by insured property loss demonstrates the limitation of using comparative financial data. Although the insured losses are lower in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan, this does not suggest the impact of property loss is lower. The instability in these countries often makes insurance unaffordable for most citizens.