Every couple of years—usually after one of the inevitable mass shootings—I find myself updating this graph. The originals were done in 2012. You can read America is a Violent Country, and Assault Deaths Within the United States to see those. This morning I pulled the latest figures from the OECD Health Status database. The method and scope are the same as before. Here is the main figure, showing assault death rates for the US and 23 other OECD countries.
Having recently revisited plots of some international comparative data on assault death rates in the OECD, here’s a quick update to the state- and region-level plots for assault deaths within the United States. CDC Wonder data now goes up to 2013, so if we query that for adjusted death rates due to assault (based on ICD-10 codes X85-Y09 and Y87.1) we can make some new plots. Here’s a boxplot of the yearly trends across states, with some high-rate outliers marked.
Another week, another mass shooting in the United States. I’ve linked before to my posts America is a Violent Country, and Assault Deaths Within the United States. I thought I would update the figures with the latest data from the OECD. The method and scope are the same as before. Here is the main figure, showing assault death rates for the US and 23 other OECD countries.
Assault Death rates in the US and other OECD countries, 1960-2013.
Update: See the addendum at the end of this post for the response I got from the Times.
Yesterday I got an email from an editorial assistant at the Times:
Hi Professor Healy, We are publishing a column today that may reference the data you use here in your post here: http://www.kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2012/12/18/assault-death-rates-in-america-some-follow-up/ You mention that the OECD stats are gated — any chance you could share them with us, for fact checking purposes?
The Newtown elementary school shooting led people to link to and share my graphs of OECD and CDC data on assault deaths in the United States. I made them last July, in the wake of the Aurora movie theater shooting. What a depressing reason to be in the newspapers. Here are the original posts: America is a Violent Country, and Assault Deaths Within the United States.
The original posts clearly explain what the data show and what the sources are.
Trends in the Death Rate from Assault, 1999–2009, by Region. Click for a larger PNG or PDF.
Update: You can click here for some further followup to this post, answering some common questions.
The chart in “America is a Violent Country” has been getting a lot of circulation. Time to follow up with some more data. As several commentators at CT noted, the death rate from assault in the U.S. is not uniform within the country.
Update (October 2015). For an update including more recent data, see this post: Assault Death Rates, 1960-2013
Update (December 2012). For answers to some frequently-asked questions about this post, see this follow-up discussion. You can also read more about patterns of assault deaths within the United States.
The terrible events in Colorado this morning prompted me to update an old post about comparative death rates from assault across different societies. The following figures are from the OECD for deaths due to assault per 100,000 population from 1960 to the present.
By way of Stewart Lee in the Guardian:
Once upon a time, royal marriages were political acts that forged links between different nations. Instead, William and Kate’s wedding will bind this nation to itself, and in marrying so very far beneath himself, I believe the young prince has made a heroic and deliberate sacrifice to achieve this end. … The Fisher King must search the devastated terrain for the Holy Grail, and drink from it to heal the land.
Here is a very old joke. A soldier is captured during a long-running war and thrown into the most stereotypical prison cell imaginable. Inside the cell is another solider. He has an enormous, disgusting-smelling beard and has clearly been there a long time. The young soldier immediately sets about trying to escape. He is resourceful and possessed of great willpower. He bribes a guard with his emergency supply of cash. The guard gets him into a supply truck and he makes it to the prison garage, but is found during a routine vehicle search while exiting the compound.
Via John Gruber, Philip Greenspun asks how on earth the New York Times spent $40 million on its new paywall:
… my biggest question right now is how the NY Times spent a reported $40-50 million writing the code (Bloomberg; other sources are consistent). Google was financed with $25 million. The New York Times already had a credit card processing system for selling home delivery. It already had a database management system for keeping track of Web site registrants.