Global Firearm Deaths Reach 250,000 Per Year

Researchers counted about 209,000 gun deaths in 1990 compared to 251,000 in 2016. The average rate, about 4 per 100,000 people, was mostly unchanged.

Two-thirds of the deaths in 2016 were homicides, although the U.S. is among wealthy countries where suicides by gun outnumber gun killings, the study found.

Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela are the countries that with the U.S. contributed to half the study deaths. The study raises concerns about the lack of research on causes of gun violence and ways to prevent it, the editorial said.

Among the findings:

  • In 2016, 64 percent of global gun deaths were homicides, 27 percent were suicides and 9 percent were accidental.
  • Gun deaths in the U.S. climbed from 35,800 in 1990 to 37,200 in 2016, but the rate dipped slightly to 11 per 100,000. Gun suicides increased from 19,700 to 23,800.
  • The U.S. had the second-highest gun suicide rate in 2016, just over 6 deaths per 100,000 – a slight dip from the 1990 rate. Greenland had the highest, 22 per 100,000 but that amounted to just 11 suicides.
  • El Salvador had the highest global gun death rate, nearly 40 per 100,000 people. Singapore had the lowest, with 0.1 death per 100,000.
  • Gun deaths outnumbered deaths from combat and terrorism every year except 1994, when 800,000 people died in Rwandan genocide.

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