Written by Tadashi

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

illegal deforestation

Deforestation makes up one of the biggest ways in which humanity negatively affects the world today. Left unchecked, it could devastate not just the world, but ironically enough, humanity as well. Learn more about this critical issue facing us all, with these 50 facts about deforestation.

  1. Forests cover an estimated 31% of the world’s surface today.
  2. An estimated 170,000 km² of forest gets cut down every year.
  3. On average, 2400 trees get cut down per minute around the world.
  4. The annual net loss of trees per year comes to an estimated 10 billion.
  5. Scientists estimate that the current rate of deforestation could lead to humanity’s extinction between the next 20 to 40 years.
  1. Cattle ranching has accounted for 91% of deforestation in the Amazon alone since 1970.
  2. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that global tree cover fell by 4.2% between 1990 and 2020.
  3. They also estimate that global forest carbon stock fell by 0.9% in that same time.
  4. The world has lost an estimated 4.2 million km² of forest since 1990.
  5. Between 2000 and 2012 alone, the world lost 2.3 million km² of forest.
  6. Africa lost the most forest between 2010 and 2020, at 39,000 km² per year.
  7. South America follows Africa, at 26,000 km² of forest lost per year in that same time.
  8. Commercial agriculture accounted for 40% of tropical deforestation alone between 2000 and 2010.
  9. Subsistence agriculture accounted for another 33% of tropical deforestation in that same time.
  10. An estimated 36,000 km² of forests became lost in 2018 alone.
  1. Scientists claim that deforestation reduces the probability of humanity’s long-term survival to less than 10%.
  2. The FAO stated in 2000 that overpopulation only had a limited contribution to deforestation.
  3. West Africa has lost 90% of its rainforests since 1900.
  4. South Asia today has lost 88% of its rainforests.
  5. World governments actively subsidize the conversion of forests into agricultural land.
Table of Contents

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.