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Visualizing the Top Global Risks in 2024

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.


top global risks 2024 from the world economic forum

Visualizing the Top Global Risks in 2024

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

What is the global risk landscape in 2024?

Record global temperatures are leading to increasingly harmful impacts, a cost-of living crisis is making everyday life harder for people around the world, and escalating tensions in the Middle East have the potential to widen into a broader regional conflict.

Meanwhile, in 2024 it’s expected to be the world’s biggest election year ever with 4 billion people casting a vote across 60 countries. Will threats such as misinformation and polarization loom large as people head to the polls?

This visualization shows the biggest risks for 2024, based on the World Economic Forum’s annual survey of leaders around the globe.

Global Risk Profile in 2024

Here are the top 20 risks to the global economy, based on a survey of 1,490 leaders.

Leaders were asked to choose up to five risks that are likely to present a material crisis on a global scale in 2024:

2024 RankingRiskShare of
Respondents
Category
1Extreme weather66%Environmental
2Misinformation and disinformation53%Technological
3Societal polarization46%Societal
4Cost-of-living crisis42%Societal
5Cyberattacks39%Technological
6Economic downturn33%Economic
7Disrupted supply chains for critical
goods and resources
25%Economic
8Escalation or outbreak of interstate
armed conflict(s)
25%Geopolitical
9Attacks on critical infrastructure19%Geopolitical
10Disrupted supply chains for food18%Economic
11Censorship and erosion of free speech16%Societal
12Disrupted supply chains for energy14%Economic
13Public debt distress14%Economic
14Skills or labor shortage13%Economic
15Accidental or intentional nuclear
event
12%Geopolitical
16Violent civil strikes and riots11%Geopolitical
17Accidental or intentional release
of biological agents
9%Geopolitical
18Institutional collapse within the
financial sector
7%Economic
19Housing bubble burst4%Economic
20Tech bubble burst4%Economic

Extreme weather poses the biggest risk according to leaders surveyed. It also ranks second overall in terms of severity over the next two years.

Global economies are widely unprepared for the consequences of acute weather, from shocks to food systems to large-scale infrastructure damage. In fact, some research shows that potentially irreversible changes to the planet could be reached by the 2030s if temperatures continue to rise.

Misinformation and disinformation is the second-biggest risk, which could diminish trust and deepen political divides. It also has the potential to undermine global elections, which are slated across the U.S., Russia, India, Mexico, and dozens of other countries.

The threat of misinformation is especially clear given advancements in AI-generated content. It ranks first overall in terms of risk severity across the list.

Interlinked with misinformation is the risk of societal polarization. In the post-pandemic era, political divides have worsened, and these have been exacerbated by economic hardship and a lack of economic opportunity.

Additionally, the conflict in the Middle East is severely impacting the livelihood of millions of people, and the recent attack in Lebanon raises questions about the outbreak of a wider war. The escalation of interstate armed conflicts ranks as the eighth-highest risk for the global economy in 2024, and the fifth-most severe.

Future Global Risks

How will global risks transform over the next decade?

By 2034, leaders surveyed believe that environmental risks will be most concerning, making up five of the top 10 risks, by severity:

2034 RankingRiskCategory
1Extreme weather eventsEnvironmental
2Critical change to Earth systemsEnvironmental
3Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapseEnvironmental
4Natural resource shortagesEnvironmental
5Misinformation and disinformationTechnological
6Adverse outcomes of AI technologiesTechnological
7Involuntary migrationSocietal
8Cyber insecurityTechnological
9Societal polarizationSocietal
10PollutionEnvironmental

We can see that technological risks of misinformation and the adverse outcomes of AI technologies also remain fairly dominant.

AI has the potential to be highly destabilizing to society, presenting some existential risks due to its role as a “force multiplier”, which means that it can increase the effect of a country’s military systems, data analytics, and other capabilities.

From a broader perspective, key structural forces are influencing global risks looking ahead. They include technological acceleration, climate change, shifts in geopolitical power, and a widening demographic divide.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024.

Data note: The chart in this article is based on the Global Risks Perception Survey 2023-2024. A list of global risks and their definitions is shown in Table A.1 of the PDF. The report also includes detailed information on sample sizes and demographics of respondents, found on pg. 101.

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Visualizing AI Patents by Country

See which countries have been granted the most AI patents each year, from 2012 to 2022.

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Visualizing AI Patents by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This infographic shows the number of AI-related patents granted each year from 2010 to 2022 (latest data available). These figures come from the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), accessed via Stanford University’s 2024 AI Index Report.

From this data, we can see that China first overtook the U.S. in 2013. Since then, the country has seen enormous growth in the number of AI patents granted each year.

YearChinaEU and UKU.S.RoWGlobal Total
20103071379845711,999
20115161299805812,206
20129261129506602,648
20131,035919706272,723
20141,278971,0786673,120
20151,7211101,1355393,505
20161,6211281,2987143,761
20172,4281441,4891,0755,136
20184,7411551,6741,5748,144
20199,5303223,2112,72015,783
202013,0714065,4414,45523,373
202121,9076238,2197,51938,268
202235,3151,17312,07713,69962,264

In 2022, China was granted more patents than every other country combined.

While this suggests that the country is very active in researching the field of artificial intelligence, it doesn’t necessarily mean that China is the farthest in terms of capability.

Key Facts About AI Patents

According to CSET, AI patents relate to mathematical relationships and algorithms, which are considered abstract ideas under patent law. They can also have different meaning, depending on where they are filed.

In the U.S., AI patenting is concentrated amongst large companies including IBM, Microsoft, and Google. On the other hand, AI patenting in China is more distributed across government organizations, universities, and tech firms (e.g. Tencent).

In terms of focus area, China’s patents are typically related to computer vision, a field of AI that enables computers and systems to interpret visual data and inputs. Meanwhile America’s efforts are more evenly distributed across research fields.

Learn More About AI From Visual Capitalist

If you want to see more data visualizations on artificial intelligence, check out this graphic that shows which job departments will be impacted by AI the most.

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