Visualizing the Odds of Dying from Various Accidents
Infographic: The Odds of Dying from Various Accidents
Fatal accidents account for a significant number of deaths in the U.S. every year. For example, nearly 43,000 Americans died in traffic accidents in 2021.
Without the right context, however, it can be difficult to properly interpret these figures.
To help you understand your chances, we’ve compiled data from the National Safety Council, and visualized the lifetime odds of dying from various accidents.
Data and Methodology
The lifetime odds presented in this graphic were estimated by dividing the one-year odds of dying by the life expectancy of a person born in 2020 (77 years).
Additionally, these numbers are based on data from the U.S., and likely differ in other countries.
|Type of Accident||Lifetime odds of dying (1 in #)|
|Motor vehicle accident||101|
|Complications of medical and surgical care||798|
|Accidental building fire||1,825|
|Choking on food||2,745|
|Drowning in swimming pool||5,782|
|Accidental firearm discharge||7,998|
|Bee or wasp sting||57,825|
For comparison’s sake, the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 292,000,000. In other words, you are 4000x more likely to die by a lightning strike over your lifetime than to win the Powerball lottery.
Continue reading below for further context on some of these accidents.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., with a 1 in 101 chance of dying. This is quite a common way of dying, especially when compared to something like bee stings (1 in 57,825).
Unfortunately, a major cause of vehicle deaths is impaired driving. The CDC reports that 32 Americans are killed every day in crashes involving alcohol, which equates to one death every 45 minutes.
For further context, consider this: 30% of all traffic-related deaths in 2020 involved alcohol-impaired drivers.
The odds of drowning in a swimming pool (1 in 5,782) are significantly higher than those of drowning in general (1 in 10,386). According to the CDC, there are 4,000 fatal drownings every year, which works out to 11 deaths per day.
Drowning also happens to be a leading cause of death for children. It is the leading cause for kids aged 1-4, and second highest cause for kids aged 5-14.
A rather surprising fact about drowning is that 80% of fatalities are male. This has been attributed to higher rates of alcohol use and risk-taking behaviors.
Accidental Firearm Discharge
Lastly, let’s look at accidental firearm deaths, which have lifetime odds of 1 in 7,998. That’s higher than the odds of drowning (general), as well as dying in an airplane accident.
This shouldn’t come as a major surprise, since the U.S. has the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. More importantly, these odds highlight the importance of properly securing one’s firearms, as well as learning safe handling practices.
As a percentage of total gun-related deaths (45,222 in 2020), accidental shootings represent a tiny 1%. The two leading causes are suicide (54%) and homicide (43%).
Interested in learning more about death? Revisit one of our most popular posts of all time: Visualizing the History of Pandemics.
Mapped: The World’s Minority Indigenous Peoples
This map by shows the population distribution of the roughly 476 million minority Indigenous groups around the world.
Mapped: The World’s Minority Indigenous Peoples
Humanity has spread to almost every corner of Earth, and while some peoples have continued to move, others have grown roots in one region.
Generally the term indigenous peoples refers to social or cultural groups with strong ancestral ties to their land of origin. Many times these are tied to ethnicity and still live in their land of origin, but some have been displaced, diluted, or become minorities in their lands.
This map by Bhabna Banerjee uses data from the Indigenous World 2022 report to show the population distribution of the roughly 476 million minority Indigenous groups around the world. When 2022 data was unavailable, the latest available data was used.
Methodology: Indigenous vs. Minority Indigenous
Before diving in, it’s important to note that this map looks at minority Indigenous peoples as defined by the United Nations. This refers to groups of people who are not in a dominant position in their respective countries, or have a history of oppression or displacement by settlers.
Because of this, ethnic groups like the Han people in China, the Turks in Turkey, or the Scots in Scotland were not included in the dataset.
On the flip side, groups like Greenland’s Inuit were included, because of their long history of colonial control as well as Danish influence.
Indigenous Minority Populations Worldwide
Of all the countries included in the report, China has the highest number of minority Indigenous, with an estimated population of 125.3 million.
It’s worth noting that the Chinese government does not officially acknowledge the existence of Indigenous peoples. However, they do recognize 55 different ethnic minority groups across the nation, including the Zhuang, Mongolians, and the Hui.
|Country||Minority Indigenous Population||Year of Data|
|Rep. of Congo||43,378||2022|
After China, India has the second largest Indigenous populations, with over 700 officially recognized ethnic groups. Many of these ethnic minorities are concentrated in the north-eastern region of India, from Rajasthan to West Bengal.
While different countries and territories have varying numbers of Indigenous peoples, one thing remains consistent across the board—on average, the world’s minority Indigenous populations typically face greater economic and social challenges than their non-Indigenous (or non-minority) counterparts.
Disadvantages Faced by Indigenous Peoples
Research by the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) found that, while minority Indigenous peoples make up only 6% of the world’s total population, they account for nearly 20% of the world’s extreme poor.
In addition, Indigenous peoples also have much lower average life expectancies than non-Indigenous people, according to a report by the United Nations.
Some countries and governments around the world are starting to implement laws and policies to support and recognize Indigenous communities, but there’s still work to be done.
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