Gun crime statistics by country: how number of US deaths caused by guns compares to UK and rest of the world

Thousands are killed by guns each year in the US, here’s how the country compares with the UK and rest of the world.

Thousands of people are killed each year in the US by guns.Thousands of people are killed each year in the US by guns.
Thousands of people are killed each year in the US by guns.

This weekend the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting will take place in Houston – around 280 miles away from where 21 children and adults were murdered earlier this week in the latest mass shooting on American soil.

Every year tens of thousands of people are killed by firearms in the US but the shooting at Robb Elementary has reignited calls for tougher gun control.

Even before the shooting in Uvalde, deaths caused by guns were at least a seven-year high with the latest figures showing 123 deaths were recorded each day in 2020 – 15 more than the daily average year before.

Firearm-related deaths are not as common in other Western countries. Here we reveal how the US compares with the UK and the rest of the world.

How many people are killed each year by guns in the US?

The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics show more than 45,000 people died as a result of guns in 2020 – on average 38,871 gun-related deaths were recorded each year between 2014 and 2020.

The number of firearms deaths has been gradually rising, up by more than a third since 2014. The figures involve all deaths so suicides and accidental fire will be included.


Gun related deaths also vary dramatically by state and the interactive map below will show you how rates differ across the US. The darker the colour the higher the death rate per 100,000 people. You can click on a state to find out how many people were killed in 2020.


Mississippi recorded the highest mortality rate in the whole of the US in 2020 with a rate of 28.6 per 100,000 people. In total 818 people died as a result of guns.

Louisiana had the second highest death rate with 26.3 deaths per 100,000 being recorded, a total of 1,183 deaths. This was followed by Wyoming with a rate of 25.9, or 154 deaths

Over a third of states (18 in total) recorded more than 1,000 gun-related deaths in 2020.

Texas had the highest total number of deaths that year with 4,164, followed by California with 3,449 and Floria with 3,041.

Hawaii recorded the lowest death rate and number of deaths, recording a rate of 3.4 and 50 deaths.


How does the US compare to the UK and other countries?

Additional figures from the CDC show there were 19,384 firearm-related homicides in the US in 2020 – 646 times greater than the UK which recorded 30 murders and manslaughters in the year ending 31 March 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Separate figures from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and Global Burden of Disease (sourced from Our World in Data) show how the US’ firearm-related homicides compare with the rest of the world.

Globally, the US had the 33rd (out of 205) highest firearm-related homicide rate in 2019 recording 4.12 deaths per 100,000 – three times greater than Afghanistan which had a rate of 1.3 and six times greater than Russia which had a rate of 0.7.

In comparison the UK recorded a rate of 0.04 – the sixth lowest rate in the world.

Central and South American countries had the highest homicide rates in the world in 2019, the map below will show you how they compare with the US.

El Salvador recorded the highest homicide rate from firearms in 2019 at 35.5 per 100,000 people, this was followed by Venezuela with 32.75 and Guatemala with 28.23.

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