Yet another mass shooting — the second with multiple deaths in as many weeks — has thrown a harsh light on the plague of gun violence in the United States. And as frequently as the tragedies occur, gun deaths in America are even more common than you might realize.
The United States is an outlier among other high-income countries when it comes to firearm deaths. Data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show that among countries defined as “high income” by the World Bank, the United States fares poorly, but it does even worse among high-income countries with large populations. The data show the US has a death rate from interpersonal firearm violence that is about twice as high as Chile, which has the second-highest rate.
Among US states, the rate of firearm deaths varies widely. In 2020, Mississippi had the highest firearm death rate in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New England states fared better, and Massachusetts had the second-lowest rate of gun deaths in 2020 at 3.7 per 100,000, trailing only Hawaii.
Massachusetts also has the lowest firearm death rate among the six New England States. Vermont had the highest rate ― 11.6 deaths per 100,000 people — followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
The United States is also home to a devastatingly frequent occurrence: mass shootings. The Gun Violence Archive tracks instances of mass shootings in America going back to 2014. Use the map below to see major incidents of gun violence in each state. The Uvalde, Texas, shooting was one of the deadliest school shootings in the last 10 years, behind only the Sandy Hook shooting in terms of the number of people who died.
Here’s what the data on mass school shootings look like when broken out by year.