The Global Trends report is issued every four years and is the intelligence community’s unclassified effort to look decades ahead at global trends to identify security risks with direct or indirect impact to the U.S. The Human Resilience Index and Modeling project provides a set of tools to help explore the links among human ecological conditions and human resilience to shocks such as droughts, famines, and migration events, and conflict.

Human ecological conditions are measured with seven indicators—population growth rate and density; availability of freshwater, food, and land; median age; and population health as comprised of infant and child mortality and life expectancy. Index values from 154 countries constructed with data from 1961–2008 show a loose correlation between steep declines in the index value and episodes of conflict in and among countries. System dynamics modeling of the index value into the future, driven largely by projected population increases, suggests where poor human and ecological conditions may contribute to poor resilience to shocks and conflict in the future.

The model can be used to experiment with different strategies that might be employed to improve human ecological conditions, improve resilience, and reduce the threats of conflict.