Democracy & Combat Deaths

“Fewer than one in 100,000 people have died in combat per year since 2000 – one-sixth the rate between 1950 and 2000, and one-fiftieth of that between 1900 and 1950.” (The Economist, 2018, p.89).

Research by the Economist suggests there is a strong correlation between democracy and peace. A stark exception to this was the US civil war (1861 to 1865) that claimed more American lives that any other.

The data also suggests that partially democratic countries are more prone to wars than autocratic or fully democratic countries – meaning “Middle-income countries are more warlike than very poor or very rich ones”. (The Economist, 2018, p.89).

“Even a bit of democracy, however, saves lives overall – because empires and dictators are more likely to starve and slaughter their subjects. Counting man-made famines and genocides, colonial and undemocratic powers have caused 250m premature deaths since 1900 – five times the death toll from combat in all wars combined.” (The Economist, 2018, p.89).


The Economist. (2018) No Man’s Land. The Economist. 10 November 2018, pp.89.


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