Comparing Gun Laws and Gun-Related Deaths Across America
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Comparing Gun Laws and Gun-Related Deaths Across America

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Ranking of each U.S. state's gun law, from strictest to loosest

Comparing Gun Laws and Gun-Related Deaths Across America

In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down concealed-gun legislation in New York sent shock waves through the country.

The decision brought renowned attention to the ongoing debate around America’s gun laws—one that Americans have grossly differing views on. This lack of consensus is apparent not just in public opinion, but in legislation, with U.S. firearm regulation varying greatly from state to state.

Which states have the strictest (and loosest) gun regulations around? This graphic by Elbie Bentley sets the ground for comparing gun laws across America before the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling can be fully understood. It uses 2021 data from Giffords Law Center and contrasts against gun-related deaths in each state.

States With The Strictest Gun Laws

Since 2010, researchers at Giffords Law Center have been ranking state gun laws across America and seeing if there’s a correlation between stricter gun laws and lower gun-related deaths.

Here’s a look at the top 10 states with the strictest gun laws and their number of gun-related deaths in 2021:

RankStateGun-Related Deaths in 2021 (per 100,000 people)% Difference from National Average
1California8.5-37%
2New Jersey5-63%
3Connecticut6-56%
4Hawaii3.4-75%
5Massachusetts3.7-73%
6New York5.3-61%
7Mayland13.5-1%
8Illinois14.1+3%
9Rhode Island5.1-62%
10Washington10.9-20%

California has the strictest gun laws in the country. Some of the state’s most notable legislation is its proactive removal of firearms from people who are facing domestic violence charges, or from people that have domestic abuse protective orders filed against them.

In addition to having the strictest gun laws, California also has a relatively low rate of gun-related deaths, at 8.5 deaths per 100,000 people—37% below the national average.

Apart from Illinois, gun-related deaths in the 10 states with the strictest gun laws are all below the national average, with Hawaii ranking the lowest for gun-related deaths at 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people, or 75% below the national average.

States With The Loosest Gun Laws

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s a look at the 10 states with the loosest gun laws, and their number of gun-related deaths per 100,000 people:

RankStateGun-Related Deaths in 2021 (per 100,000 people)% Difference from National Average
41Alaska23.5+73%
42(T)Arizona16.7+22%
42(T)Kentucky20.1+48%
44South Dakota13.6-0.4%
45(T)Kansas16.9+24%
45(T)Mississippi28.6+110%
47Missouri23.9+75%
48Idaho17.6+29%
49Wyoming25.9+90%
50Arkansas22.6+66%

Apart from South Dakota, all states in the bottom 10 have an above-average rate of gun-related deaths. Mississippi has the highest death rate at 28.6 per 100,000, which is 110% above the national average.

In Mississippi, you don’t need a permit to carry a concealed gun—not even on university campuses. And a few years ago, the state passed a law allowing K-12 school employees to bring guns onto school grounds.

Polarizing Opinions and an Uncertain Future

The recent Supreme Court ruling came weeks after dozens were killed in a series of mass shootings across the country—including one in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and the other in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Notably, some states have already reacted to the ruling by altering their gun laws. New York passed new legislation banning guns from notable public places, requiring applicants to prove they can use a gun, and requiring applicants to have their social media accounts reviewed. On the other hand, Maryland loosened its gun laws, directing law enforcement to be less restrictive for concealed carry applicants.

As all of the changes are still happening in rapid session, time will tell what the next annual review of U.S. gun laws shows about the country’s gun regulation landscape.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Automotive

The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today

This infographic lists the most fuel efficient cars over the past 46 years, including the current leader for 2023.

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The Most Fuel Efficient Cars From 1975 to Today

When shopping for a new car, what is the most important factor you look for? According to Statista, it’s not design, quality, or even safety—it’s fuel efficiency.

Because of this, automakers are always looking for clever ways to improve gas mileage in their cars. Beating the competition by even the slimmest of margins can give valuable bragging rights within a segment.

In this infographic, we’ve used data from the EPA’s 2022 Automotive Trends Report to list off the most fuel efficient cars from 1975 to today.

Editor’s note: This is from a U.S. government agency, so the data shown skews towards cars sold in North America.

Data Overview

All of the information in the above infographic is listed in the table below. Data was only available in 5-year increments up until 2005, after which it switches to annual.

Model YearMakeModelReal World Fuel Economy (mpg)Engine Type
1975HondaCivic28.3Gas
1980VWRabbit40.3Diesel
1985ChevroletSprint49.6Gas
1990GeoMetro53.4Gas
1995HondaCivic47.3Gas
2000HondaInsight57.4Hybrid
2005HondaInsight53.3Hybrid
2006HondaInsight53Hybrid
2007ToyotaPrius46.2Hybrid
2008ToyotaPrius46.2Hybrid
2009ToyotaPrius46.2Hybrid
2010HondaFCX60.2FCEV
2011BMWActive E100.6EV
2012Mitsubishii-MiEV109EV
2013ToyotaiQ EV117EV
2014BMWi3121.3EV
2015BMWi3121.3EV
2016BMWi3121.3EV
2017HyundaiIoniq Electric132.6EV
2018HyundaiIoniq Electric132.6EV
2019HyundaiIoniq Electric132.6EV
2020Tesla3138.6EV
2021Tesla3139.1EV

From this dataset, we can identify three distinct approaches to maximizing fuel efficiency.

Downsizing

Prior to 2000, the best way for automakers to achieve good fuel efficiency was by downsizing. Making cars smaller (lighter) meant they could also be fitted with very small engines.

For example, the 1985 Chevrolet Sprint was rated at 49.6 MPG, but had a sluggish 0-60 time of 15 seconds.

Hybrids

The 2000s saw the introduction of mass-market hybrid vehicles like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius. By including a small battery to support the combustion engine, automakers could achieve good MPGs without sacrificing so heavily on size.

While the Insight achieved better fuel economy than the Prius, it was the latter that became synonymous with the term “hybrid”. This was largely due to the Prius’ more practical 4-door design.

The following table compares annual U.S. sales figures for both models. Insight sales have fluctuated drastically because Honda has produced the model in several short spans (1999-2006, 2009-2014, 2018-2022).

YearInsight SalesPrius Sales
2005666107,155
2006722106,971
20073181,221
2008-158,884
200920,572150,831
201020,962140,928
201115,549136,464
20126,619236,655
20134,802234,228
20143,965207,372
20151,458184,794
201667136,629
20173108,661
201812,51387,590
201923,68669,718
202015,93243,525
202118,68559,010
20227,62833,352

Source: goodcarbadcar.net

The Prius may have dominated the hybrid market for a long time, but it too has run into troubles. Sales have been declining since 2014, even setting historic lows in recent years.

There are several reasons behind this trend, with one being a wider availability of hybrid models from other brands. We also can’t ignore the release of the Tesla Model 3, which began shipping to customers in 2017.

Electric Vehicles

We’re currently in the middle of a historic transition to electric vehicles. However, because EVs do not use fuel, the EPA had to develop a new system called MPGe (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent).

This new metric gives us the ability to compare the efficiency of EVs with traditional gas-powered cars. An underlying assumption of MPGe is that 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity is comparable to the energy content of a gallon of fuel.

The most fuel efficient car you can buy today is the 2023 Lucid Air, which achieves 140 MPGe. Close behind it is the 2023 Tesla Model 3 RWD, which is rated at 132 MPGe.

Check out this page to see the EPA’s top 10 most efficient vehicles for 2023.

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