The graph above shows the states with the highest rate of murders committed using a gun. As stated in an earlier blog post, the average rate for the country in 2011 was just over 67% for this statistic. In this graph are the 15 states that had a higher than average rate. We could not obtain data on Florida and the data collected for Illinois are limited. We also tossed out any state that had less than 50 total murders reported for 2011.
Somewhat to my surprise, I expected to see states with larger urban areas on this list such as California, New York, and Texas. So where are they? Well, California is right on average at 67%. Texas is slightly below average at 64%. And noteably, New York is all the way down near the bottom at 57%!
So I’m not sure exactly what the data are telling us. I tried, unsuccessfully, to correlate these statistics to various state laws on gun control but there doesn’t seem to be much of any link. Also, not having complete data on Florida and Illinois makes the data less useful for identifying trends.
On the flip side then, here are the 10 states that had the lowest rate of murders committed with a gun in 2011. Again, we threw out any state that had less than 50 total murders committed in the given year. Obviously, one can see that New York stands out as a prominent outlier in this data set. I’m not sure of the exact reason yet other than the fact that New York City has recently become one of the safest cities in the country in general.