Global Forest DATA

Global Forests Data by

Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser
(2021) – “Forests and Deforestation”. Published online at


This interactive map shows the net change in forest cover across the world.

Countries with a positive change (shown in green) are regrowing forests faster than they’re losing them.

Countries with a negative change (shown in red) are losing more than they’re able to restore.

Over the decade since 2010, the net loss in forests globally was 4.7 million hectares per year. 

The UN FAO estimate that 10 million hectares of forest were cut down each year.

In just over 100 years the world lost as much forest as it had in the previous 9,000 years. 

From 1850 to 1920, losses were around 50% higher at 30 million hectares per decade –that’s like losing a forested area the size of Italy every 10 years. 

Just over one-quarter of global forest loss is driven by deforestation. 

The remaining 73% came from the three drivers of forest degradation: logging of forestry products from plantations (26%); shifting, local agriculture (24%); and wildfires (23%).

Most of deforestation in 20th century occurred in rain forest of Africa, South America and Asia.

Europe which has the largest forest share on earth now faces destruction of forests by wildfires.

This interactive map shows the total area of forest cover, as measured in hectares (ha).

Russia is home to the largest area of forest – 815 million hectares.

Brazil, the United States, Canada, China, Australia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo also have a largest forest area – more than 100 million hectares each.

In a study, published in the journal Nature, Thomas Crowther et al (2015) mapped tree density across the world.They used 429,775 ground-sourced measurements of tree density from every continent.

They estimated there were approx. 3.04 trillion trees in the world. Over 15 billion trees are cut down each year. Now millions of trees are burnt to death by large wildfires.

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