A new study, The Shrinking Costs of War, produced by the Human Security Report Project at the School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University and funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, reveals that nationwide death rates actually fall during the course of most of today’s armed conflicts.

Most significant developments from study:

  • The average war today is fought by smaller armies and impacts less territory than conflicts of the Cold War era. Smaller wars mean fewer war deaths and less impact on nationwide mortality rates.
  • Dramatic long-term improvements in public health in the developing world have steadily reduced mortality rates in peacetime—and saved countless lives in wartime.
  • Major increases in the level, scope, and effectiveness of humanitarian assistance to war-affected populations in countries in conflict since the end of the Cold War have reduced wartime death tolls still further.