Home / Articles / Weekly US Government Data Roundup: June 26, 2023

New visualizations explore the role firearms play in the nation’s suicide rate and rising firearm homicide rate. Data from two government agencies reveals how firearm-related suicides change with age, rates at which people die in active shooter incidents, how firearm homicide rates vary between races, and more. Here is just a preview of what’s available.

  • The national homicide rate rose 30% in 2020, the largest single-year rise in more than a century. Firearm homicide rates increased 44% between 2019 and 2021, while homicides by other main causes decreased.
Chart showing that the firearm homicide rate had decreased from its early 1990s peak of 6.8 victims per 100,000 people. It dipped below 4 per 100,000 in the early 2010s.
  • The firearm homicide rate had decreased from its early 1990s peak of 6.8 victims per 100,000 people. It dipped below 4 per 100,000 in the early 2010s. It’s since returned to 1990s levels. Most victims were killed in an argument. Less than 2% of gun homicides were due to gang violence.
Of the 21,000 firearm homicides in 2021, 103 people were killed in active shooter events.
  • Active shooter events doubled between 2019 and 2021, but the number of victims dying from these events remained largely unchanged. In 2021, 103 people were killed in active shooter events, accounting for about 0.5% of the homicides reported by the CDC that year.
48,830 people were killed with a firearm in the US in 2021. Suicides were 54% of all firearm-related deaths that year, compared to 43% from homicides.
  • In 2021, 48,830 people in the US were killed with a firearm. Fifty-four percent of these deaths were suicides. Overall, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death that year.
Firearm suicide and homicide rates by age. The percentage of gun suicides rose with age.
  • The share of gun-related suicides was smaller for younger people: they accounted for 40% of gun deaths between the ages of 20 and 35. After 45, most gun deaths were suicides. By age 75, 94% of gun deaths were suicides.
  • The number of suicides was similar for people in their twenties (4,606 deaths) and fifties (4,056 deaths), though suicide comprised a higher percentage of firearm deaths for older Americans.

Blue states tend to have stricter gun policies than red states. See how that affects firearm homicides. Then, get more facts on firearms and suicides in this article.

If you are thinking about attempting suicide, call 911 or tell someone who can help immediately. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline also has 24-hour, confidential support.

Data behind the news

Over the weekend, tornados in Indiana killed one person and caused extensive damage. This is already an increase over last year

Saturday marked one year since the Supreme Court determined that the US Constitution does not grant a right to abortion in its ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This article from last year tracks how abortion laws have changed in various states since the ruling, plus USAFacts has data on the states people travel to for abortions.

Temporary lanes for I-95 in Philadelphia opened on Friday after a tanker truck fire on June 11 caused a bridge to collapse. See facts on how many bridges are rated “poor” and specifically the percent of highway bridges considered structurally deficient.

It’s time for the next weekly fact quiz!

One last fact

Nuclear fusion funding has generally increased from approx. $400 million annually through the 1990 to 2008 to $1 billion requested for 2024.

The Biden administration has invested in a plan to deploy nuclear fusion on the electrical grid sometime in the 2030s. While the Energy Department’s Office of Science is the largest fusion research funder, the field also receives some funding from the National Nuclear Security Agency and the Defense Department.