Sustainable Development Goals - 17 Goals to Transform our World

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Indicator 1.5.2: Direct economic loss attributed to disasters in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP)

Data Notice

The 2018 Update of the US NRP, which began in late Fall, incorporated the comprehensive revision of the US National Income and Product Accounts. The entire time-series for US SDG indicators that depend on GDP (such as this one) has been revised.

Disaster losses as a percentage of GDP


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Headline data

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from US statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from US statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other US-specific metadata information.

Actual indicator available Disaster losses as a percentage of GDP
Actual indicator available - description Disaster losses consists of damage to fixed.
Date of national source publication 8/2017
Method of computation The original national disaster loss databases usually register physical damage value (housing unit loss, infrastructure loss etc.). Need conversion from physical value to monetary value according to the UNISDR methodology. After converted, divide global direct economic loss by global GDP (inflation adjusted, constant USD) calculated from World Bank Development Indicators.
Periodicity Annual
Scheduled update by national source 10/2017
U.S. method of computation Disaster losses divided by World/US GDP expressed as a percentage
Comments and limitations The threshold for determining whether any single event is treated as a disaster is if either the associated property losses or the insurance payouts exceed 0.1 percent of U.S. GDP
Date metadata updated 2017-10-20
Disaggregation geography
Unit of measurement Disaster losses: Billions of US dollars
Disaggregation categories
International and national references
Time period 2000-2016
Scheduled update by SDG team

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name Direct disaster economic loss attributed to disasters in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP)
Target name By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.
Global indicator description From UNISDR: Definition: Direct economic loss: Direct loss is nearly equivalent to physical damage. The monetary value of total or partial destruction of physical assets existing in the affected area. Examples include loss to physical assets such as damaged housings, factories and infrastructure. Direct losses usually happen during the event or within the first few hours after the event and are often assessed soon after the event to estimate recovery cost and claim insurance payments. These are tangible and relatively easy to measure. Direct Economic loss in this indicator framework consists of agriculture loss, damage to industrial and commercial facilities, damage to housings and critical infrastructures. We limit the economic loss into direct economic loss, excluding indirect loss (e.g. loss due to interrupted production) and macro-economic loss. The reason is that there is not yet universally standardized methodology to measure indirect and macro-economic loss while direct loss data monitoring is relatively simpler and more standardized. Global gross domestic product: Summation of GDP of Countries. GDP definition according to the World Bank. Hazardous event: The occurrence of a natural or human-induced phenomenon in a particular place during a particular period of time due to the existence of a hazard. Hazard: A potentially damaging physical event, phenomenon or human activity that may cause the loss of life or injury, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation. UNISDR recommends setting NO threshold for recording hazardous event in order to monitor all hazardous events. Small-scale but frequent hazardous events that are not registered in international disaster loss databases account for an important share of damages and losses when they are combined, and often go unnoticed by the national and international community. These events, when accumulated, are often a source of poverty in developing countries but can be effectively addressed by well-designed policies. The scope of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 is "the risk of small-scale and large-scale, frequent and infrequent, sudden and slow-onset disasters, caused by natural or man-made hazards as well as relate environmental, technological and biological hazards and risks". Regarding the inclusion of biological and environmental hazards in natural hazards category and whether and how to integrate man-made hazards, UNISDR will discuss the issue with WHO and other organizations (for example, WHO would be in a better position in terms of data, knowledge and relationship with Member States and other stakeholders to monitor biological events including epidemics. However, we generally do not expect biological disasters will cause physical damages to facilities. ). Note: Terminology will be discussed and finalized in the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group for Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
UN designated tier 2
UN custodial agency UNISDR (Partnering Agencies: UNEP, FAO)
Link to UN metadata Link opens in a new window
Organisation Saving and Investment by Sector
Agency Staff Name Andrew Craig
Agency Survey Dataset Saving and Investment by Sector
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