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    Gun-related deaths are tragically common. In 2019 alone, more than 250,000 people died as a result of firearms worldwide. Nearly 71% of gun deaths were homicides, about 21% were suicides, and 8% were unintentional firearms-related accidents.

    Nearly nine out of 10 people killed by gun violence in 2019 were men. The highest number of homicide deaths occurred among people 20-24 years old, while the highest number of gun-enabled suicides came from those aged 55-59.

    Out of the estimated 250,227 gun-related deaths worldwide in 2019, 65.9% occurred in just six countries: Brazil, the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, India, and Colombia.
    Countries with the Highest Total Gun Deaths (all causes) in 2019

    Brazil (49436)
    United States (37038)
    Venezuela (28515)
    Mexico (22116)
    India (14710)
    Colombia (13169)
    Philippines (9267)
    Guatemala (5980)

    Brazil has the highest number of total gun deaths from all causes in the world, with 49,436 out of 250,227 worldwide. The United States has the second-highest number of gun deaths with 37,038.

    That said, if one isolates the violent gun deaths and adjusts for population size by expressing the rate as the number of homicides per 100k people, the list changes significantly.
    Countries with the Highest Rates of Violent Gun Death (Homicides) per 100k residents in 2019

    El Salvador (36.78)
    Venezuela (33.27)
    Guatemala (29.06)
    Colombia (26.36)
    Brazil (21.93)
    Bahamas (21.52)
    Honduras (20.15)
    U.S. Virgin Islands (19.40)
    Puerto Rico (18.14)
    Mexico (16.41)

    Gun violence in Latin America is exceptionally high, due in no small part to the prevalence of criminal gangs and a vibrant drug trafficking industry. The Inter-American Development Bank released a report highlighting several critical factors in Latin American cities that contribute to increased gun violence, including economic deprivation, residential instability, family disruption, absence from school, the population’s age structure, and alcohol consumption.

    Gangs are much less of an issue in the United States, yet it is second only to Brazil on the list in total gun deaths. Many people understandably assume the high number of gun deaths in the U.S. is due to mass shootings, which receive frequent attention from the media. In truth, mass shootings account for only a small percentage of gun deaths in the United States. Rather, nearly two-thirds (63%) of gun deaths in the US in 2019 were suicides.
    Countries with the Highest Rates of Firearm-Related Suicide (per 100k) in 2019

    Greenland (16.36)
    United States (7.12)
    Uruguay (4.74)
    San Marino (4.08)
    Montenegro (3.40)
    Argentina (2.67)
    Finland (2.66)
    Monaco (2.64)
    France (2.64)
    Venezuela (2.50)

    In contrast to the U.S. and Latin America, gun deaths are extremely rare in countries like Japan, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Australia. These countries have implemented incentives or passed legislation to decrease the number of firearms in circulation. For example, in July 2021, Australia implemented a permanent gun amnesty program, in which unregistered firearms could be anonymously surrendered at police stations.

    Is your government’s policy regarding the carrying of weapons by civilians outdated?

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