Special Report

10 States With the Most Gun Violence

4. Alabama
> 2013 firearm death rate: 17.5 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 7,915 (16th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 430.8 (14th highest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 18.7% (7th highest)

Nearly 19% of Alabama residents lived below the poverty line, the seventh highest rate in the country. Additionally, the state had among the worst educational attainment rates nationwide, which may have contributed to the high gun-death rate. Between 2004 and 2013, an annual average of 16.6 people were killed by firearms, the fourth highest rate in the country. Despite a drop in 2011, the firearm death rate increased to the state’s 10-year high in 2013. Other types of crime in Alabama were also prevalent. There were 430.8 violent crimes reported per 100,000, a higher rate than the 367.9 violent crimes across the nation.

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3. Mississippi
> 2013 firearm death rate: 17.7 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 5,056 (24th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 274.6 (18th lowest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 24.0% (the highest)

With 24% of its residents living in poverty, Mississippi had the highest poverty rate in the country. Poverty and low educational attainment rates may contribute to higher rates of gun-related deaths. Mississippi had the second highest gun-related homicide rate in the country at 7.4 homicides per 100,000 residents. In general, crime was not particularly prevalent. There were just 274.6 violent crimes reported per 100,000, compared with 367.9 such crimes per 100,000 across the country. Mississippi also led the country in unintentional deaths by a firearm, with 0.6 deaths occurring for every 100,000 people, three-times more frequent than across the country.

2. Louisiana
> 2013 firearm death rate: 19.1 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 8,552 (13th highest)
> Violent crime rate: 518.5 (5th highest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 19.8% (3rd highest)

Louisiana was the only state with the most gun violence where firearm-related suicides accounted for less than half of all gun deaths. In fact, homicides accounted for roughly 51% of all gun deaths in the state. As a result, Louisiana had the highest gun-related homicide rate in the country, at 9.7 murders per 100,000 residents. Louisiana also had the highest average firearm death rate in the country over the 10 years ending in 2013, when there were 18.8 firearm deaths per 100,000 in the state, compared with 10.2 across the country. The high number of gun deaths may be tied to gun policy. Louisiana, like many of the states on this list, does not require gun owners to have a permit to purchase a firearm, nor must they register their weapons.

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1. Alaska
> 2013 firearm death rate: 19.6 per 100,000
> Total firearm deaths 2004-2013: 1,256 (10th lowest)
> Violent crime rate: 640.4 (the highest)
> Permit required to buy handgun: No
> Poverty rate: 9.3% (2nd lowest)

There were roughly 20 firearm deaths per 100,000 residents in Alaska, nearly double the national rate. As in many other states with high gun-death rates, the vast majority of deaths were the result of suicide. Unlike most states on this list, however, Alaskan households were quite wealthy. A typical household earned $72,237, roughly $20,000 more than a typical household across the nation. Other types of crime were also more common in the state. In fact, Alaska had the highest violent crime rate in the country at more than 640 violent crimes per 100,000 residents.

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