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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

The World Is Getting Safer From Floods

2021-09-08

Though the images of abandoned cars in waterlogged East Coast streets might make you think otherwise, the relative toll that floods take on the U.S.—in property and lives—has decreased over time. Flooding costs as a share of gross domestic product declined almost 10-fold since 1903 to 0.05% of GDP, while annual flood death risk—fatalities per million—dropped almost threefold. World-wide data are sparser, but flood research shows costs relative to GDP and deaths relative to population have decreased globally from 1980 to 2010.