U.S. Gun Violence

Gun Firearm Violence Deaths Mortality

In 2016, firearms were involved in 

38,658 deaths

—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 38,658 firearm related deaths occurred in the United States—up from the 36,247 recorded deaths in 2015 [1]

The data here includes all deaths classified by the CDC with firearms as the "mechanism." It includes all intents—both homicides and suicides. Despite much of the national focus on homicide gun deaths, roughly two-thirds of all firearm-related deaths are suicides. 

How do gun violence statistics vary by state?

Alaska had the highest firearm-related fatality rate in 2016, with 23.3 deaths per 100,000 people. Massachusetts had the lowest rate: 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people. 

Note: Use the time-slider to change the year displayed on the chart. 

How does gun violence affect different demographics?

By Sex

For males in 2016, the age-adjusted death rate for firearm-related injuries was six times the rate for females. [2] A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests different lifestyles as well as other behavioral risk factors could be contributing to the wide disparity between genders' death rates. [3]

By Race

In 2016, African Americans were more than twice as likely to die from firearm-related causes as white Americans. Asians and Pacific Islanders had the lowest rate. In addition to different frequencies of assault, a number of factors may contribute to this disparity, such as differences in health insurance rates and medical treatment between races. [4]

How does gun violence vary by intent?

When analyzing gun-related deaths, it's important to keep in mind that mortality statistics can also be broken down by intent. The landscape of gun-related homicides looks very different from gun-related suicides. In some cases, states with extremely high rates of gun-related suicide have low rates of gun-related homicides.  

More Information

1. "National Center for Health Statistics- All Injuries," Center for Disease Control, 2017.

2. "Deaths: Final Data for 2016," National Vital Statistics Reports, 2018.

3. "Gender Disparities in Injury Mortality: Consistent, Persistent, and Larger Than You'd Think." National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2011.

4. "Homicide as a medical outcome: Racial disparity in deaths from assault in us level I and II trauma centers." The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, 2012.

About the Data

The charts show the CDC's Fire-Arm Related Death data's age-adjusted rate, with the exception of the 'By Age' sections, which uses crude rate.

Mortality data in this story was queried from the CDC Wonder API, based on the following parameters:

• Data reported as Underlying Cause of Death, ICD-10 codes: W32-W34, X72-X74, X93-X95, Y22-Y24, Y35.0.