Italians make up 38 per cent of all those who lost their lives as a result of floods in Europe between 1980 and 2002, according to research commissioned by the European Union. The largest number of floods occurred in France (22 per cent), followed by Italy (17 per cent) and the UK (12 per cent), but the highest death tolls were in Italy, followed by Spain and France. Economically the cost has also been high, with losses and damages worth 11 billion in both Germany and Italy, and about 6 billion in Spain and the UK. The last two decades have seen an increased occurrence of flooding in Europe, probably as a result of climatic change, intensive farming, land exploitation and the mismanagement of water resources.