Guns and Gear

Number Of Children Getting Shot Increases By 50% In Two Years

Not related to the story. (Photo by Andri Tambunan / AFP)

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Erinn Broadus Investigative Reporter
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The number of children under 18 killed by gunfire increased by 50% from 2019 to 2021, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of mortality statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In 2021, there were 2,590 children under 18 who died from gun deaths, higher than any point in history, according to Pew. This increase is reflective of the broader increase in firearm deaths for Americans overall.

Black youths are five times more likely than white youths to die from gunfire. There were 11.8 firearm deaths per 100,000 black children in 2021, compared to 2.3 firearm deaths per 100,000 white children, the study found. (RELATED: Seven People Shot In Less Than Twelve Hours In Nation’s Capital)

Homicide was the leading cause of gun deaths among children and teens, with 60% of deaths attributed to homicide. Suicide follows at 32%, followed by accidents and other causes at 8%.

Youths aged 12 to 17 accounted for 86% of all gun deaths among children, followed by 7% for both ages 6 to 11 and under 5. Homicide was the leading cause of death, although suicide comprised 36% of deaths for children ages 12 to 17.

For adults, suicide was the largest category of gun deaths. For those 18 and above, 55% of gun deaths were attributed to suicide, followed by homicide at 42% and other causes at 2%.

Further, about one in five parents are extremely/very concerned that their child will get shot. This varies dramatically when income is a variable — 40% of low-income parents are extremely or very concerned that their child will get shot, compared to just 10% of upper-income and 16% of middle-income parents.

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