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Sociology Resources: Finding Data on Terrorist Acts


This site contains policy reports and other information from government agencies and from institutions studying terrorism and national security issues.

It also contains sources of data on terrorist incidents which may be useful for assignments in the Sociology of Terrorism coursem as well as ways of finding GDP, the Human Development Index and the Gender Inequality Index.


The Sage Encyclopedia of Terrorism. Ref HV6431. S225 2011.

Reports and Data on Terrorism

Information on Terrorism From Government and Research Institutes

National Counterterrorism Center.

This is a United States government agency. A complete description is available under the About Us link on the homepage.

They no longer appear to be gathering or reporting statistics. Perhaps they are relying on The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. However, there is much useful non-statistical information in this database. You can use the search box to explore. Under the CT Calendar there are profiles of known terrorists.

Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism

United States. Department of State. Bureau of Counterterrorism.

Under the auspices of the United States Department of State. Many resources here, but mostly narrative, not statistical.

Homeland Security Digital Library (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense & Security.

Statistics on Terrorism: Major Internet Sources

The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism Located in Israel. Contains more than statistics. The Incidents and Activities Database issues monthly reports on terrorist incidents worldwide.


The webpage has changed its layout but it is still difficult to use. At present reporting on terrorist instances are grouped by decades (some up to 2006, others earlier). The links are also not immediately visible and not in the list of terrorist links.  To get to them go the Categories drop-down menu and select Terrorism.  Once there click on Background.  Under the Afghanistan discussion click on the first "instances" link to get the 2000 to 2006 data. Once in the page you can click on the link "Terrorist Acts" to get other statistics.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism

A major source for statistics on terrorist incidences.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terror (START). Its webpage describes it as “…a part of the collection of Centers of Excellence supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate and also receives funding and support from a variety of Federal agencies, private foundations, and universities. All of START's research is conducted using non-classified materials and its findings are those of individual researchers and do not reflect the official position of any START funders.”

The problem with the data at START is that it the data is difficult to read off the graphs.  From homepage link to Data & Tools, then Global Terrorism Database. There is a drop-down menu which gives several options. You might want to start with the Browse by Country option You can pick a country and examine the data. This produces a graph. Enlarging the graph by right clicking it and selecting full screen one does not make it entirely interpretable. (Sometimes it does not even enlarge the screen.)

However below the graph is a list of incidents by date. The most recent date reported appears to 2012. (I have not examined all countries, so this may be wrong as the latest date reported may vary by country). You can then count the instances and combine them with the data from Nation Master to bring the data up to 2012, or you could rely entirely on a manual count from this database. Combining data from various sources can be problematic. Consult your sociology professor about this.

From the Global Terrorism Database page there is a link to Using GTD, which has the option of Data Collection Methodology. This is the best place to tease out definitions of terrorism used in the collection of this data and answers to other methodological issues. The definition of terrorism used in collecting the data is also reported. The actual Code Book is present on the Methodology page and that should answer most definitional questions.

Finding Percentage of Religious Affiliation per Country.

CIA Fact Book. 

Religious affiliation as a percent of the population reported by country. You must look at each country individually. It will also give you the capital of the country and other useful information. Religion is reported under the "People and Society" link for each country. 

GDP, Human Development Index, Gender Inequality Index, and GDP

Human Development Index and Gender Inequality Index

United Nations Development Programme: Human Development Reports

Click on Data (at top).

Table 1. Human Development Index and Its Components. Gives you most current rankings and and the factors (components) that go into making up the HDI. At the bottom it will also give combined categories (e.g. "Arab States.")
Table 2. Human Development Index Trents. Gives you the index for countries over time.  As above there are combined categories  at the bottom of the list.
Table 4 is Gender Inequality Index with components. All say see attatchments for further information. Attachments are found under "About" box (small i) on the side. Scroll down for attachments.


World Bank Open Data

The United Nations uses data from the World Bank for GNP. Go to Indicators. Scroll Down to Economy and Growth. Various forms of the GDP are there. You can configure some of the tables to go back to data in the 1980s.Consult with you sociology professor to determine which manner of reporting GDP is required for your assignment.

International Monetary Fund

Select country in which you are interested from page below. Hit Continue and follow through.


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