State of the World 2005 - Notable Security Trends


  • Nearly $1 trillion is spent each year on the world’s militaries, a fifth of which is spent by developing countries. In contrast, analysts estimate that $50 billion in additional annual funding could achieve the Millennium Development Goals. (p. 170)
  • Current global stocks of small arms are estimated at 639 million, with an additional eight million being produced each year. (p. 125)
  • An estimated 300,000 people are killed each year by small arms used during armed conflict. Another 200,000 die as a result of gun violence. (p. 123)
  • More than 28,000 nuclear weapons are held by eight states around the world. Six countries possess declared stocks of chemical weapons, with over 98 percent of the stockpile being controlled by the U.S. and Russia. (pp. 140, 142)


  • Oil accounts for about 37 percent of global energy production, making it the world’s single largest source of energy. (p. 102)
  • Oil is being found in smaller and smaller quantities and in ever-more remote regions. Production has plateaued or declined in 33 of the 48 largest producers, including six of OPEC’s 11 members. (p. 106)
  • The combustion of oil is responsible for 42 percent of all emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief human-caused greenhouse gas. (p. 102)
  • Resource exploitation played a role in about one quarter of the approximately 50 wars and armed conflicts of recent years. In the 1990s alone, resource conflicts led to the deaths of five million people and the displacement of another 17 to 21 million. (p. 96)


  • More than 30 countries—most of them in Africa and the Middle East—have now fallen below even the most conservative benchmarks for sufficient per-capita cropland (0.07 hectares) or renewable fresh water (1,000 cubic meters). (p. 31)
  • Worldwide, 434 million people face water scarcity, and it is estimated that by 2025 between 2.6 billion and 3.1 billion people will be living in either water-stressed or water-scarce conditions. (p. 62)
  • About 40 percent of the world’s population lives in river basins that are shared by two or more countries. Since 1820, more than 400 water treaties and other water-related agreements have been signed, with more than half of these concluded in the past 50 years. Cooperative events between states that share water borders outnumbered conflicts by more than two to one between 1945 and 1999. (pp. 82-85)


  • The number of hungry people in developing countries increased by 18 million in the second half of the 1990s to some 800 million today. Worldwide, nearly two billion people suffer from hunger and chronic nutrient deficiencies. (p. 63)
  • Since the beginning of the last century, 75 percent of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost. This creeping homogeneity handicaps the ability of farmers everywhere to respond to pests, disease, and changes in climate. (p. 64)


  • Roughly one third of all countries, including many in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia, record fertility rates above four children per woman. (p. 23)
  • In the past decade, youth unemployment rates worldwide have jumped from 11.7 percent to a record 14.4 percent in 2003, more than double the overall global unemployment rate. (p. 25)
  • Twenty-three of the 36 countries that experienced new outbreaks of civil conflicts during the 1990s displayed a combination of either a high proportion of young people, high rates of urban growth, or shortages in the per capita availability of cropland or fresh water. (p.34)


  • In 2002, infectious disease killed 14.9 million people around the world—accounting for more than one quarter of all deaths. Disease experts are deeply concerned about the possibility of a new influenza pandemic that could take millions of lives. (p. 49)
  • Twenty previously well-known diseases, including tuberculosis and malaria, have reemerged or spread geographically, and at least 30 diseases not previously known to be infectious have been identified over the last three decades. (p. 49)
  • In 2003, nearly three million people died from HIV-related infections, bringing to more than 20 million the total number of AIDS deaths since the first cases were identified in 1981. Largely because of this rising pandemic, death rates have actually reversed their decline in more than 30 countries worldwide. (p. 27)
  • Nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa are now losing more than 10 percent of their working-age adult populations every five years, largely as a result of high HIV prevalence. (p. 28)

State of the World 2005 | Press Release | Chapter Summaries | Foreword | Experts Guide | Story Ideas | Notable Security Trends | Online Feature: Global Security