After ruling for nearly 14 years, Bolivian President Evo Morales resigned on Sunday alleging a coup.

According to a data set, ‘Coups in the World’, the country has witnessed 23 coup attempts between 1950 and 2019, the highest in the world. A coup is defined as an "illegal and overt attempt by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive".

Fewer in recent times
Globally, there were 476 coup attempts between 1950 and 2019. 224 coups were attempted between 1960 and 1979. The number has come down to 52 in the last 19 years.


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1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

20 15 10 5 0

18 (1966)

 

Across the globe
African countries saw the highest % of global coup attempts followed by Asian nations. Sudan witnessed the highest coups (15) in Africa and Iraq saw the highest in Asia (12).


image/svg+xml Africa Asia South America Central America Europe Oceania 50 40 30 20 10 0

Total coup attempts

 

Better development, fewer coups
Countries with a low Human Development Index (HDI, 2018) tend to have more coup attempts, as shown by the trend line. Argentina is an exception. Coup attempts are likely to increase with a decrease in HDI.


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0.95 0.85 0.75 0.65 0.55 0.45 0.35 0.25 2 6 10 14 18 22

Average Bolivia Somalia Argentina Syria Bangladesh Vietnam Niger Iraq Turkey S. Korea Sudan Burundi Venezuela Total coup attempts Human Development Index

 

Story post-Cold War
Coup attempts have significantly fallen after the Cold War. In the 39 years between 1950 and 1989, the world saw over 350 coup attempts, while in the 29 years post 1990, 113 coups have been recorded.


image/svg+xml 400 300 200 100 0 Coup attempts During Cold War Post-Cold War

363 113

 

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