Gun Violence Statistics

Deaths and injuries among children and teens in the US

The Knotted Gun, located at UN Headquarters, NYC.

A relatively recent effort is being made in the US to properly measure and track the impact of gun violence. The Gun Violence Archive is one such effort, keeping a near-realtime database of gun-related killings and injuries in the US. 

Among the datasets in the archive are the incidents involving children (age 0-11) and teens (age 12-17). With over 2,200 gun-related incidents recorded involving these vulnerable groups (as of October 2015), there is enough data to make some comparisons.

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Killings and injuries

Since January 2014 over 1,200 children and teens have been killed by gun violence. There were an additional 2,100 injuries in the same period.

A state-by-state comparison reveals as to why populous states like Texas and Florida top the list - large populations are likely to have higher number of gun incidents. Though, relatively smaller states like Illinois and Georgia are also high on the list.

The true impact of these numbers is shown by calculating per capita numbers. The US Census Bureau provides population numbers for "people under 18" for each state. The charts below show how many killings and injuries per 1 million children and teens each state has seen in 2014 and 2015 so far.

Alaska and the District of Columbia top the list of deaths and injuries per capita. In both states, there were a relatively low number of killings (13 and 6 respectively, up from zero for both) but their population of children and teens is so small that their per capita numbers make them stand out.

Killed since January 2014 by state

Per capita killings from gun violence

2015 data refers to the period January through April. Source: Gun Violence Archive and US Census Bureau.

Per capita injuries from gun violence

2015 data refers to the period January through April. Source: Gun Violence Archive and US Census Bureau.

2015 statistics so far

Since all 2015 data only includes the period from January through October the above comparisons between 2014 and 2015 are heavily skewed. Considering that in many states the 2015 (per capita and absolute) killings and injuries already outnumber those for the entire last year, it is not too soon to conclude the number of gun-related deaths of children and teens is on the rise this year.

To better demonstrate the difference in the number of killings we compared the period January through October only, for both years. There were only 4 states where killings were higher or the same in this period last year: Virginia, Arizona, Nebraska and Vermont. In 44 states the number of killings was considerably higher in 2015 - on average more than twice as high, compared to the same period in 2014.

Number of killings in 2015 so far

The 2015 data refers to the period January through October. Source: Gun Violence Archive.

January through October killings compared by year

Showing only the number of killings during the months January through October for 2014 and 2015. Source: Gun Violence Archive.

Timeseries per month

The trend of increased killings and injuries seems to have set in since the end of 2014, as the data per month show. The number of killings and particularly injuries peaked in May 2015. Since then, the number of new incidents each month has been consistently and substantially higher than last year even though there doesn't seem to be a linear trend. 

To keep reading more analysis of the Gun Violence Archive data see this page with more details on the (anonymized) victims and perpetrators.

Killings and injuries per month