Where Is a Woman Most Likely to Be Killed by a Gun in America?

A handful of southern states have the highest rates of gun deaths among women in the nation

Women in Alabama have a higher chance of being killed by a gun than women in any other state, according to data from the Kasier Family Foundation. Six of every 100,000 women in Alabama are killed by a gun. Women in Massachusetts are the safest in the nation when it comes to gun deaths -- less than one in every 100,000 women is killed by a firearm.

Behind Alabama Louisiana, Arizona, Mississippi and Kentucky top the list of states where a woman is most likely to be killed by a gun. After Massachusetts the safest states in the top 5 are New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Minnesota.

One big caveat: The 2009 Kaiser figures do not include data for women in 12 states: Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Still, the geographic distinctions are pretty striking. Northern and Midwestern women seem safer from gun violence than those in the south and west.

Gun deaths can include intentional killing, suicide or accidental deaths. And though the numbers don’t tell us exactly what was involved with each of these deaths, a separate review of violent deaths in 16 states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that firearms are used in the majority of suicide deaths and two-thirds of homicides. In 10 percent of homicides, the suspect was a spouse or intimate partner. In incidents with multiple victims, firearms are the most commonly used weapon.

Here’s how the 38 states with data on gun deaths among women rank. The #1 state has the lowest rate of gun deaths among women in the country and #38 has the highest. The numbers below represent the number of women per 100,000 in each state.

Rank State %
1 Massachusetts 0.7
2 New Jersey 0.8
3 New York 0.9
4 Connecticut 1.2
5 Minnesota 1.3
6 Illinois 1.6
7 California 1.8
8 Maryland 2.2
9 Ohio 2.4
10 Michigan 2.5
10 Wisconsin 2.5
12 Indiana 2.7
13 Pennsylvania 2.8
14 Kansas 2.9
15 Virginia 3
15 Washington 3
17 Utah 3.2
18 Oregon 3.3
19 Colorado 3.4
20 Texas 3.5
21 North Carolina 3.7
22 New Mexico 3.8
23 Tennessee 3.9
24 Missouri 4
24 West Virginia 4
26 Arkansas 4.1
26 Florida 4.1
26 Idaho 4.1
26 Montana 4.1
30 Georgia 4.4
31 Nevada 4.5
31 South Carolina 4.5
33 Oklahoma 4.6
34 Kentucky 4.8
35 Mississippi 4.9
36 Arizona 5
37 Louisiana 5.2
38 Alabama 6.3
No Statistical Data Available Alaska  
No Statistical Data Available Delaware  
No Statistical Data Available Hawaii  
No Statistical Data Available Iowa  
No Statistical Data Available Maine  
No Statistical Data Available Nebraska  
No Statistical Data Available New Hampshire  
No Statistical Data Available North Dakota  
No Statistical Data Available Rhode Island  
No Statistical Data Available South Dakota  
No Statistical Data Available Vermont  
No Statistical Data Available Wyoming  
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

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