By Nurith Aizenman
Last weekend's massacre in Las Vegas is only the latest reminder of the persistent gun violence in the United States. And a new set of statistics on the rates of gun violence unrelated to conflict underscores just how outsize U.S. rates of gun deaths are compared with those in much of the rest of the world.
Take countries with the top indicators of socioeconomic success — income per person and average education level, for instance. The United States ranks ninth in the world among them, bested by the likes of Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Iceland, Canada and Finland.
Those countries all also enjoy low rates of gun violence, but the U.S. has the 31st highest rate in the world: 3.85 deaths due to gun violence per 100,000 people in 2016. That was eight times higher than the rate in Canada, which had .48 deaths per 100,000 people — and 27 times higher than the one in Denmark, which had .14 deaths per 100,000.
The numbers comes from a massive database maintained by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which tracks lives lost in every country, in every year, by every possible cause of death. The figures for 2016 were released just last month. As in previous years, the data paint a fairly rosy picture for much of the world, with deaths due to gun violence rare even in many countries that are extremely poor — such as Bangladesh and Laos, which saw .16 deaths and .13 deaths respectively per 100,000 people.
Ali Mokdad, Professor of Global Health and Director of Middle Eastern Initiatives at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, is quoted in this story.