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

34 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2018

See all articles by John R. Lott

John R. Lott

Crime Prevention Research Center

Date Written: November 12, 2018

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 18 years from 1998 to 2015, our list contains 2,354 attacks and at least 4,880 shooters outside the United States and 53 attacks and 57 shooters within our country. By our count, the US makes up less than 1.15% of the mass public shooters, 1.49% of their murders, and 2.20% 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, but they are also much less deadly on average.

Out of the 97 countries where we have identified mass public shootings occurring, the United States ranks 64th in the per capita frequency of these attacks and 65th in the murder rate.
Not only have these attacks been much more common outside the US, the US’s share of these attacks have declined over time. There has been a much bigger increase over time in the number and severity 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 (November 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3289010 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3289010

John R. Lott (Contact Author)

Crime Prevention Research Center ( email )

PO Box 3234
Alexandria, VA
United States

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