Comparing the Global Rate of Mass Public Shootings to the U.S.’s Rate and Comparing Their Changes Over Time

41 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2020

See all articles by John R. Lott

John R. Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

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Date Written: August 11, 2020

Abstract

The U.S. is well below the world average in terms of the number of mass public shootings, and the global increase over time has been much bigger than for the United States.

Over the 20 years from 1998 to 2017, our list contains 2,772 attacks and at least 5,764 shooters outside the United States and 62 attacks and 66 shooters within our country. By our count, the US makes up less than 1.13% of the mass public shooters, 1.77% of their murders, and 2.19% of their attacks. All these are much less than the US’s 4.6% share of the world population. Attacks in the US are not only less frequent than other countries, they are also much less deadly on average. Out of the 101 countries where we have identified mass public shootings occurring, the United States ranks 66th in the per capita frequency of these attacks and 56th in the murder rate.

Not only have these attacks been much more common outside the US, the US’s share of these attacks has declined over time. There has been a much bigger increase over time in the number of mass shootings in the rest of the world compared to the US.

Keywords: mass public shootings, cross-country data, mass murder, terrorism

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Lott, John R., Comparing the Global Rate of Mass Public Shootings to the U.S.’s Rate and Comparing Their Changes Over Time (August 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3671740 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3671740

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 3234
Alexandria, VA
United States

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