Frequency of Earthquakes Worldwide

The following table lists the frequency of earthquakes worldwide, according to magnitude and annual average.

DescriptorMagnitudeAnnual average
Great8 or higher11
Major7–7.9172
Strong6–6.91342
Moderate5–5.91,3192
Light4–4.9c. 13,000
Minor3–3.9c. 130,000
Very minor2–2.9c. 1,300,000
1. Based on observations since 1900. 2. Based on observations since 1990. NOTE: The NEIC estimates that several million earthquakes occur in the world each year. Many go undetected because they hit remote areas or have very small magnitudes.
Source: National Earthquake Information Center, U.S. Geological Survey.