Understanding National Statistics on Deaths from Floods


What countries have the highest rates of deaths resulting in floods?  This question is essential in understanding what parts of the world flood relief efforts would most effectively be going to.


Using the data United Nations Environmental Programme data on national flood death rates (2016) we looked over the number of deaths in each country from floods a year over the course of 27 years (from 1980 to 2007).  For each country we averaged the amount of deaths over these 27 years and put it in a column at the end of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet we downloaded from UNEP.  We then used the UNEP data for national populations both sexes (2016), and made sure all the data lined up.  This included the countries, country codes and years (we only selected the population years from 1980-2007 when we downloaded the data).  After checking that the data lined up, we averaged the populations over the 27 years for each nation and copied and pasted these statistics at the end of the death from floods data excel sheet.  We divided the average of the deaths by floods of each country by the average of the total populations of each country to find the percentage of people in each country that were dying in this manner.  Using this data we created a bar graph showing these percentages for each country in ascending order of deaths.



The Ten countries with the highest percents of deaths by flood in their population included in order, Venezuela, Tajikistan, Somalia, Puerto Rico, Nepal, Honduras, Haiti, Djibouti, Bhutan and Afghanistan.  Six of these countries are listed as least developed by Bhutan, and none of them have been listed as developed.  The countries that have been marked as least developed include Bhutan, Haiti, Djibouti, Somalia, Nepal and Afghanistan.  The geographical regions where countries face the highest death-by-flood percentages seem to be Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and Africa.  However, countries where larger percentages of the populations are dying by flood are not limited to these regions.


In this Graph, the Y-Axis represents the ratios of deaths per population by flood and the X-Axis represents the countries.


This information can be used to aim flood relief efforts in these countries.  Using this data, flood relief efforts can be focused in Latin American, Asia and the pacific, and Africa.  Further studies could be conducted using this research.  For instance, is there a correlation between countries facing serious floods and being underdeveloped?  More analysis and research would need to be done to make a conclusion, however this data is a good starting point.


UNEP (2016): The UNEP Environmental Data Explorer, as compiled from Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) – Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) . United Nations Environment Programme. http://ede.grid.unep.ch.

UNEP (2016): The UNEP Environmental Data Explorer, as compiled from World Population Prospects, the 2012 Revision (WPP2012), United Nations Population Division . United Nations Environment Programme. http://ede.grid.unep.ch.