Generic image of a forest

Slowly, the world is losing its forests

Some countries are faring worse than others

The global forest cover, according to data from the World Bank has gone down, only slightly though — about 1 percent. But, this one percent loss hasn't been evenly spread. Some countries have lost more than others.

Here's a map showing the spread of forest cover globally in 1990.

Forest cover as a percentage of the country's total land

No data found
Less than 1%
0-10%
10-20%
20-30%
30-40%
40-50%
50-60%
60-70%
70-80%
80-90%
90-100%

Here's a map showing the spread of forest cover globally in 2020.

At a quick glance, the below map, showing loss of forests in 2020 looks the same, but in these three decades some countries have lost as much as a quarter of their forest cover.

Puerto Rico, Vietnam and Bhutan are among countries that gained the most forest cover.

Increasing deforestation increases threat on biodiversity. Globally, more than a third of all forest is primary forest, largely untouched by human activity.

For this project, I used data, last updated May 25, 2022, from the World Bank. To plot it, the data was categorized to group together percentage of land covered by forests.

Most of the countries that lost the most amount of forest area in South America and Asia. Belize, Nicaragua, Indonesia and Paraguay are among the countries that suffered the most loss.

Nicaragua lost the most — about a fourth of its forest cover. The country is home to the second largest tropical rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, after the Amazon.