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World Bank Group report: Droughts and Deficits - The Global Impacts of Droughts on Economic Growth

A new report from the World Bank Group, Droughts and Deficits: Summary Evidence of the Global Impact on Economic Growth, uses state-of-the-art empirical research to present new estimates of the effects of rainfall shocks and droughts on gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

Child fetching water in dry area

Pollution, industrial development, agricultural intensification, land use change, and other damaging human activities are degrading and diminishing watersheds, rivers, and lakes. 

Around 66% of the global population live in a water basin that encounters water stress for at least part of the year.

Climate change is also expected to increase the risk of droughts and desertification in many at-risk regions of the world, particularly those with rapid population growth, vulnerable groups and food security challenges.

Rainfall deficits have a negative impact on GDP growth, with low- and middle-income countries in arid areas sustaining the highest relative losses. As the severity of a drought increases, so too does the impact on economic growth.

  • Explore multimedia infographics and download the report here.

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