U.S.: Mass Shootings, by year
YearTotal number of mass shootings
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: 1982 to Dec 6, 2023
  • Published: Dec 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 28, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us | Data sources

Increase in mass shootings in recent years

Mass shootings in the U.S. have seen a significant increase, with the years 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023 each recording 12 incidents. This marks a noticeable rise compared to earlier decades, indicating a growing trend in the frequency of these events.

Comparison between the 1990s and the 2020s

The 2020s have already witnessed 32 mass shootings in just four years (2020-2023), surpassing the total of 24 incidents recorded throughout the entire 1990s decade. This comparison underscores a dramatic escalation in mass shootings over the last thirty years.

Years with the lowest number of mass shootings

1985 and 1983 stand out as the only years with zero reported mass shootings since 1982. This rarity highlights the contrast with more recent trends of increasing occurrences.

First significant spike in the 21st century

The year 2017 marked a notable spike with 11 mass shootings, signaling the beginning of a period with higher annual counts of such incidents. This year served as a precursor to the current trend of increased mass shootings.

Decade comparison for increased occurrences

Analyzing the data by decades, a clear upward trend emerges. The 2000s saw a total of 7 mass shootings, a number which more than doubled in the 2010s with 63 incidents. This exponential growth demonstrates the escalating nature of mass shootings over time.

Notable increase in the last five years

The last five years (2019-2023) alone have accounted for 52 mass shootings, nearly matching the total of 63 incidents from the entire previous decade (2010-2019). This acceleration suggests a significant worsening of the issue in a shorter timeframe.

Period with the most frequent changes

Between 2014 and 2023, the annual number of mass shootings fluctuated widely, peaking at 12 incidents in multiple years. This period reflects the most frequent and significant changes in the frequency of mass shootings, indicating an era of volatility.

Long-term increase since 1982

Since 1982, the total number of mass shootings has progressively increased, with 2023 marking one of the highest annual counts at 12. This long-term trend underscores the growing challenge of addressing mass shootings in the U.S.

Frequently Asked Questions

What has been the trend in mass shootings in the U.S in recent years?

The U.S has seen a significant increase in mass shootings, with 12 incidents each in 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023.

How does the number of mass shootings in the 2020s compare to the 1990s?

The 2020s have already recorded 32 mass shootings, surpassing the 24 incidents recorded throughout the 1990s.

Terms and Definitions

Mass Shootings are incidents involving multiple victims of firearm-related violence. There isn't a universally accepted definition, however, it typically encompasses situations where four or more individuals are shot, not necessarily fatally, in a single occurrence or in one location, typically not relating to gang or other criminal activities.

A firearm is a weapon that launches one or more projectiles driven by rapidly expanding high-pressure gas produced by chemical reactions within a confined space. This broad term covers a range of weaponry including handguns, rifles, shotguns, and automatic firearms.

A handgun is a type of firearm designed to be handheld. This use is achieved by two fundamental criteria: a short length that can be comfortably held and used with one or both hands and limited to only a few rounds of ammunition.

A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm designed for precision shooting, to be held with both hands and braced against the shoulder for stability during firing, and with a barrel that has a helical pattern of grooves ("rifling") cut into the bore walls.

A shotgun is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug.

Automatic firearms are weapons that, once triggered, continuously fire rounds as long as the trigger is depressed and there is ammunition in the magazine. They can fire several hundred rounds per minute, making them the deadliest form of firearm.

Gun control refers to the management, restriction, or limitation of the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians or unauthorized personnel. The nature and level of gun control can vary greatly from country to country and from state to state.

The Second Amendment is a part of the United States Constitution that codifies the right of American citizens to bear arms. It's a major point of contention in discussions about gun control.

Gun violence refers to misuse of firearms, it can take many forms, including self-inflicted harm, injury or death to others, intentional threat to oneself or others (whether successful or not), or negligent or accidental injury or death. Mass shootings are one form of gun violence.
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