Which states have the most mass shootings per capita? Which states have the least?

Mass Shooting: FOUR or more shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location not including the shooter.

Are there any government policies that meaningfully influence these rates, or does it appear to be random?

  • To make this an on topic question the appropriate addition might be: "Are there any government policies that meaningfully influence these rates, or does it appear to be random?"
    – ohwilleke
    Jun 6, 2017 at 0:07
  • I've observed worldwide a correlation between wealth inequality and homicide rate, as well as an inverse correlation between education and homicide rate. It is likely that states with high levels of poverty and poor education likely have more mass shootings per capita. There are no reliable gun ownership statistics; but if there were, you could probably find a correlation between high gun ownership and high mass shooting rates. Also note: the Small Arms Survey is the most often cited gun stat source, but it is unreliable.
    – John
    Sep 7, 2018 at 17:17
  • @John Actually there is a negative correlation between gun ownership and homicide rate. The more guns, the less the homicide rate. I would assume mass shootings are counted as homicides. docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/… Why is Small Arms Survey unreliable?
    – Chloe
    Sep 7, 2018 at 17:25
  • @Chloe See the criticisms section of the Small Arms Survey wikipedia article. Also, you can't compute a correlation between gun ownership and homicide rate if you don't actually have accurate data on how many citizens own guns, so the claim of negative correlation is unsubstantiated. Also, correlation should be computed based on how many citizens own guns, not how many guns per citizen. If there are 112.6 guns per 100 citizens in the U.S., then what percent of Americans own guns? 112.6%? No. What percent? You don't know. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Arms_Survey#Criticism
    – John
    Sep 7, 2018 at 17:54
  • @John It looks like they updated it in 2017 and Finland is now at 32.4 per 100 residents. I criticize the criticism because it didn't state the actual number the critics believe is true. It's not constructive. The criticism also states that every family must have an illegal firearm to be true, but it doesn't consider that some families may have multiple firearms, the same criticism that you gave. So unless I see different stats, I'm likely to continue believing it. Yes, having % citizens who own guns would be more useful.
    – Chloe
    Sep 7, 2018 at 18:38

1 Answer 1


DC, Louisiana, and Illinois have the most, and Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wyoming had the least (none) in the 2014 to May 1st, 2017 period.

Mass shootings per capita by state

Source: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population

Excel sheet on Google Drive

  • 2
    Please define "mass shooting" as used by the gun violence archive. May 7, 2017 at 3:28
  • 2
    This is an utterly useless statistic, because the rate of occurrence is so low. May 7, 2017 at 13:18
  • 1
    It;s also somewhat useless for many other reasons (e.g. "Illinois" is not a uniform place; neither are others).
    – user4012
    May 7, 2017 at 13:22
  • 2
    @Chloe - nope, sorry. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Illinois#Local_laws
    – user4012
    May 7, 2017 at 18:08
  • 3
    This answer is no longer complete due to recent changes to the question. The current version of the question focuses on correlation between government policies and mass shooting rates, more than geographic distribution of mass shootings. Sep 10, 2018 at 18:08

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