Special Report

States Where the Most People Are Killed by Guns

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The mass shooting committed by an 18-year-old with a legally acquired arsenal at Ross Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, was the bloodiest and most heartbreaking U.S. mass shooting of the year — so far.

Mass shootings — where at least four people, not including the shooter, are injured or killed — have averaged more than one per day in the United States. The May 24 massacre of 19 children and two teachers was followed by 19 other mass shootings in the final days of the month, and one more in June. (There have been more mass shootings than days this year.)

Between the start of the year and June 1, when an armed man killed at least four people at a hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there were 233 mass shootings in the U.S., according to the Gun Violence Archive.

In 2020, 45,222 people were killed by firearms in the United States, 43% of them by murder, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention. So where are these gun-related deaths most likely to happen?

To determine the states where the most people are killed by guns, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2020 firearm mortality data from the CDC. States are ranked by the firearm death rate — the number of firearm deaths per 100,000 residents. Population data came from the U.S. Census Bureau 2020 American Community Survey and are five year estimates. 

Out of the 10 states with the highest rates of firearm mortality per capita, six are located in the South and none are among the 10 most populous states. Alaska, with a population of only about 581,000 residents, reported almost 24 firearm-related deaths per 100,000 residents in 2020, making it the sixth deadliest state for gun violence.

New York and California — the fourth and second largest states by population, respectively — rank among the 10 states with the lowest firearm mortality rates. Texas, the country’s second-largest state by population, ranks 26th on this list. (Here are states where murder rate is soaring.)

Here is the state where the most people are killed by firearms

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50. Hawaii
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 3.4 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 50 – #50 most
> Population: 1,420,074 – #40 largest

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49. Massachusetts
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 3.7 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 268 – #37 most
> Population: 6,873,003 – #15 largest

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

48. New Jersey
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 5.0 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 443 – #32 most
> Population: 8,885,418 – #11 largest

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

47. Rhode Island
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 5.1 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 54 – #49 most
> Population: 1,057,798 – #44 largest

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46. New York
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 5.3 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,052 – #18 most
> Population: 19,514,849 – #4 largest

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45. Connecticut
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 6.0 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 219 – #39 most
> Population: 3,570,549 – #29 largest

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44. California
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 8.5 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 3,449 – #2 most
> Population: 39,346,023 – #1 largest

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43. New Hampshire
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 8.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 128 – #45 most
> Population: 1,355,244 – #41 largest

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42. Minnesota
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 8.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 513 – #29 most
> Population: 5,600,166 – #22 largest

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41. Nebraska
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 10.1 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 197 – #40 most
> Population: 1,923,826 – #37 largest

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40. Maine
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 10.4 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 153 – #43 most
> Population: 1,340,825 – #42 largest

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39. Washington
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 10.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 864 – #21 most
> Population: 7,512,465 – #13 largest

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38. Iowa
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 11.2 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 351 – #34 most
> Population: 3,150,011 – #31 largest

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37. Vermont
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 11.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 76 – #48 most
> Population: 624,340 – #49 largest

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36. Wisconsin
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 12.2 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 717 – #25 most
> Population: 5,806,975 – #20 largest

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

35. Oregon
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.0 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 592 – #27 most
> Population: 4,176,346 – #27 largest

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34. Virginia
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.4 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,174 – #14 most
> Population: 8,509,358 – #12 largest

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33. Maryland
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.5 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 803 – #24 most
> Population: 6,037,624 – #19 largest

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32. Utah
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 429 – #33 most
> Population: 3,151,239 – #30 largest

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31. South Dakota
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 120 – #46 most
> Population: 879,336 – #46 largest

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30. Pennsylvania
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,752 – #6 most
> Population: 12,794,885 – #5 largest

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29. Florida
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.7 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 3,041 – #3 most
> Population: 21,216,924 – #3 largest

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28. North Dakota
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 13.8 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 100 – #47 most
> Population: 760,394 – #47 largest

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27. Illinois
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 14.1 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,745 – #7 most
> Population: 12,716,164 – #6 largest

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26. Texas
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 14.2 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 4,164 – #1 most
> Population: 28,635,442 – #2 largest

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25. Delaware
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 14.4 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 135 – #44 most
> Population: 967,679 – #45 largest

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24. Michigan
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 14.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,454 – #10 most
> Population: 9,973,907 – #10 largest

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23. Ohio
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 15.2 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,764 – #5 most
> Population: 11,675,275 – #7 largest

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22. Colorado
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 15.4 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 922 – #19 most
> Population: 5,684,926 – #21 largest

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21. North Carolina
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 16.0 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,699 – #8 most
> Population: 10,386,227 – #9 largest

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20. Arizona
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 16.7 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,265 – #12 most
> Population: 7,174,064 – #14 largest

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19. Kansas
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 16.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 494 – #30 most
> Population: 2,912,619 – #35 largest

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18. Nevada
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 17.0 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 547 – #28 most
> Population: 3,030,281 – #32 largest

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17. Indiana
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 17.3 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,159 – #15 most
> Population: 6,696,893 – #17 largest

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16. Idaho
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 17.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 321 – #36 most
> Population: 1,754,367 – #39 largest

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15. Georgia
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 17.7 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,897 – #4 most
> Population: 10,516,579 – #8 largest

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14. West Virginia
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 18.1 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 325 – #35 most
> Population: 1,807,426 – #38 largest

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13. Kentucky
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 20.1 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 902 – #20 most
> Population: 4,461,952 – #26 largest

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12. Oklahoma
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 20.7 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 826 – #22 most
> Population: 3,949,342 – #28 largest

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11. Montana
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 20.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 238 – #38 most
> Population: 1,061,705 – #43 largest

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

10. Tennessee
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 21.3 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,473 – #9 most
> Population: 6,772,268 – #16 largest

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9. South Carolina
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 22.0 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,131 – #17 most
> Population: 5,091,517 – #23 largest

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8. Arkansas
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 22.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 673 – #26 most
> Population: 3,011,873 – #33 largest

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

7. New Mexico
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 22.7 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 479 – #31 most
> Population: 2,097,021 – #36 largest

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6. Alaska
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 23.5 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 175 – #41 most
> Population: 736,990 – #48 largest

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

5. Alabama
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 23.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,141 – #16 most
> Population: 4,893,186 – #24 largest

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4. Missouri
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 23.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,426 – #11 most
> Population: 6,124,160 – #18 largest

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3. Wyoming
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 25.9 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 154 – #42 most
> Population: 581,348 – #50 largest

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2. Louisiana
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 26.3 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 1,183 – #13 most
> Population: 4,664,616 – #25 largest

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1. Mississippi
> Firearm death rate, 2020: 28.6 per 100,000 people
> Total deaths: 818 – #23 most
> Population: 2,981,835 – #34 largest

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