Top 10 civil wars by death toll

history & culture

The majority of all wars are fought between countries. However, many wars take place within a nation. Most modern countries have experienced a civil war in the past. Syria, Colombia and Yemen are examples of ongoing civil wars, ruining the lives of many day in, day out. Since 1945, civil wars have claimed the lives of more than 25 million people. Moreover, it can lead to an enormous economic collapse.


Most civil wars are caused by ethnical, religious, social or economic disparity between groups within a country. But what are the most intense civil wars by (estimated) death toll and where and when did they take place? Here’s a comprehensive top 10 list of civil wars by death toll!

Top 10 civil wars by death toll

  1. 800,000–1,000,000 casualties – Rwandan Civil War (Rwanda, 1990–1993)
  2. 868,000 casualties – English Civil War (England, 1642–1651)
  3. 800,000 casualties – Nien Rebellion (China,1853–1868)
  4. 900,000–1,000,000 casualties – Mozambique Civil War (Mozambique, 1975–1994)
  5. 1,000,000 casualties – Panthay Rebellion (China,1856–1873)
  6. 1,000,000 casualties – Second Sudanese Civil War (Sudan, 1983–2005)
  7. 1,000,000–2,000,000 casualties – Mexican Revolution (Mexico, 1910–1920)
  8. 1,000,000-3,000,000 casualties – Nigerian Civil War (Nigeria, 1967-1970)
  9. 1,300,000–6,100,000 casualties – Chinese Civil War (China, 1927–1949)
  10. 3,000,000 casualties– Afghan Civil War (Afghanistan, 1979–ongoing)

NB the estimated number of casualties during the American Civil War (1861-1865) varies between 618,000 and 970,000

Source: Wikipedia

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