Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Gun Death Rates in the Great Plains Region

Deaths attributable to gun fire, including suicides, homicides, accidents, and other firearm related incidents, accounted for over 45,200 deaths in the United States in 2020, an increase of almost 13.9% from 2019 levels. At 13.7 deaths per 100,000 population, the U.S. gun death rate rose from 12.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019.  The seven-state Great Plains region recorded 3,201 deaths in 2020 that were attributable to gun fire.  With 14.9 gun-related deaths per 100,000 population in 2020, the region's gun death rate was 8.8% higher than the national average.  The region's high gun death rate was mostly attributable to a particularly high gun death rate in Missouri, the largest population state in the region. Despite the high regional rate, five Great Plains states recorded gun death rates in 2020 that were below the national average.  A deeper examination of data from the National Center for Health Statistics provides the following details about gun death rates in the Great Plains region in 2020:

Gun Death Rates in the Great Plains Region

Gun Death Rates in the Great Plains Region

State Deaths Population Death Rate*
Iowa 351 3,163,561 11.1
Kansas 494 2,913,805 17.0
Minnesota 513 5,657,342 9.1
Missouri 1,426 6,151,548 23.2
Nebraska 197 1,937,552 10.2
North Dakota 100 765,309 13.1
South Dakota 120 892,717 13.4
     Region 3,201 21,481,834 14.9
U.S. Totals 45,222 329,484,123 13.7

(*) number of gun deaths per 100,000 population

Report Period: 2020

Source: CDC Wonder. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Underlying Cause of Death 1999-2020 on CDC WONDER Online Database, released in 2021. Data are from the Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2020, as compiled from data provided by the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions through the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program. Accessed on September 5, 2022

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