Special Report

The 35 Countries With The Most Gun Deaths Per Capita

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Gun violence is among the most pressing and enduring problems facing the United States. According to the nonprofit group Gun Violence Archive, there have been nearly twice as many mass shootings as there have been days so far in 2023 – and a total of more than 36,000 people have been killed by a firearm in the same period. (Here is a look at the number of American mass shootings every year.)

In every other wealthy, highly-developed country – including the entire European continent – rates of deadly gun violence are nowhere near as high as they are in the United States. And though more than a century has passed since the last war was fought on U.S. soil, Americans are more likely to be shot and killed than residents of many countries across Africa and the Middle East that are actively combating terrorist insurgencies or engaged in civil war.

Using data from the Small Arms Survey, an international organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, 24/7 Wall St. identified the countries with the highest rates of deadly gun violence. Countries are ranked on the estimated number of violent gun deaths – excluding suicides – for every 100,000 people in 2020, the latest year of available data. We only considered countries with populations of at least 10 million, according to World Bank estimates.  

The 35 countries on this list span four continents – Africa, Asia, North America, and South America. Among them, rates of violent gun deaths range from 1.8 for every 100,000 people to 32.3 per 100,000. 

In many of these countries, high rates of deadly gun violence are driven by large-scale armed conflict. Some of the highest-ranking countries on this list, including Afghanistan, Colombia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, are in the throes of terrorist insurgencies, drug wars, civil war, or ethnic violence. (These 29 countries are at war right now.)

For a country with none of these problems on a large scale, the U.S. ranks relatively high on this list, with about 7 violent gun deaths for every 100,000 people in 2020. The U.S. is also an outlier in terms of wealth, with a per capita GDP of about $76,400 in 2022, according to the World Bank. For context, Chile ranks as the second wealthiest country on this list, with a per capita GDP of $15,356 – and in most of these countries, per capita GDP is below $5,000.

High rates of gun violence in the U.S. is attributable in part to high rates of gun ownership. According to Small Arms Survey estimates from 2017, the latest year of available data, the U.S. is the only country in the world with more civilian-owned firearms than people. Additionally, along with Guatemala and Mexico, the U.S. is one of only three countries in the world where firearm ownership is a constitutional right. Notably, each of these places ranks among the 15 countries with the highest rates of violent gun deaths. 

Here are the countries with the most gun deaths per person.

35. Ecuador

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 1.8 per 100,000 people (total: 321)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 2.4 per 100 people – 167th most of 230 countries (total: 402,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $6,391 – 119th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 18,001,000 – 66th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

34. Peru

Source: simonmayer / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 1.9 per 100,000 people (total: 621)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 2.0 per 100 people – 174th most of 230 countries (total: 633,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $7,126 – 107th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 34,049,588 – 44th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

33. Thailand

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 2.1 per 100,000 people (total: 1,443)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 15.1 per 100 people – 50th most of 230 countries (total: 10,342,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $6,909 – 111th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 71,697,030 – 20th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South-Eastern Asia

32. Mozambique

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 2.3 per 100,000 people (total: 733)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 4.5 per 100 people – 129th most of 230 countries (total: 1,337,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $541 – 202nd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 32,969,518 – 48th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

31. Tanzania

  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 2.4 per 100,000 people (total: 1,431)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 0.8 per 100 people – 196th most of 230 countries (total: 427,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $1,192 – 184th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 65,497,748 – 23rd largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

30. Democratic Republic of the Congo

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 2.7 per 100,000 people (total: 2,393)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 1.2 per 100 people – 186th most of 230 countries (total: 946,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $586 – 201st highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 99,010,212 – 15th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Middle Africa

29. Benin

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 2.8 per 100,000 people (total: 339)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 0.3 per 100 people – 218th most of 230 countries (total: 33,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $1,303 – 182nd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 13,352,864 – 76th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Africa

28. Chile

Source: filipe_lopes / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 3.0 per 100,000 people (total: 582)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 12.1 per 100 people – 69th most of 230 countries (total: 2,220,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $15,356 – 78th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 19,603,733 – 64th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

27. Bolivia

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 3.2 per 100,000 people (total: 371)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 2.0 per 100 people – 174th most of 230 countries (total: 218,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $3,523 – 148th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 12,224,110 – 79th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

26. Nigeria

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 3.3 per 100,000 people (total: 6,770)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 3.2 per 100 people – 150th most of 230 countries (total: 6,154,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $2,184 – 167th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 218,541,212 – 6th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Africa

25. Ethiopia

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 3.6 per 100,000 people (total: 4,104)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 0.4 per 100 people – 212th most of 230 countries (total: 377,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $1,028 – 189th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 123,379,924 – 12th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

24. Zambia

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 3.6 per 100,000 people (total: 663)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 0.9 per 100 people – 194th most of 230 countries (total: 158,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $1,488 – 179th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 20,017,675 – 62nd largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

23. Kenya

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 3.7 per 100,000 people (total: 1,976)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 1.5 per 100 people – 181st most of 230 countries (total: 750,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $2,099 – 169th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 54,027,487 – 27th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

22. Niger

  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 4.2 per 100,000 people (total: 1,014)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 0.5 per 100 people – 206th most of 230 countries (total: 117,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $533 – 204th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 26,207,977 – 54th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Africa

21. Chad

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 4.3 per 100,000 people (total: 702)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 1.0 per 100 people – 191st most of 230 countries (total: 151,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $717 – 198th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 17,723,315 – 67th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Middle Africa

20. Argentina

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 4.6 per 100,000 people (total: 2,067)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 7.4 per 100 people – 104th most of 230 countries (total: 3,256,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $13,686 – 81st highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 46,234,830 – 33rd largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

19. Philippines

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 5.7 per 100,000 people (total: 6,257)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 3.6 per 100 people – 138th most of 230 countries (total: 3,776,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $3,499 – 149th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 115,559,009 – 13th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South-Eastern Asia

18. South Africa

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 6.0 per 100,000 people (total: 3,564)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 9.7 per 100 people – 89th most of 230 countries (total: 5,351,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $6,776 – 113th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 59,893,885 – 24th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Southern Africa

17. Iraq

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 6.1 per 100,000 people (total: 2,462)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 19.6 per 100 people – 26th most of 230 countries (total: 7,588,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $5,937 – 122nd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 44,496,122 – 35th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Asia

16. Burkina Faso

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 6.6 per 100,000 people (total: 1,383)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 0.9 per 100 people – 194th most of 230 countries (total: 175,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $833 – 195th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 22,673,762 – 57th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Africa

15. Somalia

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 6.9 per 100,000 people (total: 1,096)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 12.4 per 100 people – 66th most of 230 countries (total: 1,145,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $462 – 206th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 17,597,511 – 69th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

14. Dominican Republic

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 7.0 per 100,000 people (total: 761)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 7.4 per 100 people – 104th most of 230 countries (total: 795,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $10,121 – 93rd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 11,228,821 – 83rd largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Caribbean

13. United States

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 7.0 per 100,000 people (total: 23,224)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 120.5 per 100 people – the most of 230 countries (total: 393,347,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $76,399 – 12th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 333,287,557 – 3rd largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: North America

12. Haiti

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 8.0 per 100,000 people (total: 913)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 2.6 per 100 people – 159th most of 230 countries (total: 291,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $1,748 – 172nd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 11,584,996 – 81st largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Caribbean

11. South Sudan

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 8.9 per 100,000 people (total: 999)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 9.6 per 100 people – 90th most of 230 countries (total: 1,255,000)
  • GDP per capita, N/A : $ N/A – N/A highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 10,913,164 – 85th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Eastern Africa

10. Mali

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 9.6 per 100,000 people (total: 1,943)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 1.1 per 100 people – 188th most of 230 countries (total: 206,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $833 – 194th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 22,593,590 – 58th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Africa

9. Guatemala

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 17.2 per 100,000 people (total: 3,088)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 12.1 per 100 people – 69th most of 230 countries (total: 2,062,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $5,473 – 125th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 17,357,886 – 70th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Central America

8. Brazil

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 17.5 per 100,000 people (total: 37,196)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 8.3 per 100 people – 97th most of 230 countries (total: 17,510,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $8,918 – 99th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 215,313,498 – 7th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

7. Syria

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 18.3 per 100,000 people (total: 3,204)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 8.2 per 100 people – 99th most of 230 countries (total: 1,547,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2020: $537 – 203rd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 22,125,249 – 60th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Asia

6. Mexico

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 19.3 per 100,000 people (total: 24,833)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 12.9 per 100 people – 60th most of 230 countries (total: 16,809,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $11,091 – 90th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 127,504,125 – 10th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Central America

5. Colombia

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 22.0 per 100,000 people (total: 11,178)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 10.1 per 100 people – 81st most of 230 countries (total: 4,971,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $6,630 – 116th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 51,874,024 – 28th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

4. Yemen

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 22.0 per 100,000 people (total: 6,567)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 52.8 per 100 people – 3rd most of 230 countries (total: 14,859,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $677 – 199th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 33,696,614 – 46th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Western Asia

3. Afghanistan

Source: christophe_cerisier / E+ via Getty Images
  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 26.9 per 100,000 people (total: 10,466)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 12.5 per 100 people – 63rd most of 230 countries (total: 4,270,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2021: $364 – 209th highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 41,128,771 – 36th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Southern Asia

2. Honduras

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  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 32.2 per 100,000 people (total: 3,187)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 14.1 per 100 people – 54th most of 230 countries (total: 1,171,000)
  • GDP per capita, 2022: $3,040 – 153rd highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 10,432,860 – 89th largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: Central America

1. Venezuela

Source: DouglasOlivares / iStock via Getty Images
  • Violent deaths by firearm, 2020: 32.3 per 100,000 people (total: 9,178)
  • Civilian-owned firearms: Approx. 18.5 per 100 people – 35th most of 230 countries (total: 5,895,000)
  • GDP per capita, N/A : $ N/A – N/A highest of 210 countries with recent data
  • Population, 2022: 28,301,696 – 51st largest of 217 countries
  • Regional location: South America

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