Gun deaths fell slightly in the United States in 2022, with homicides leading the decrease, according to provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The figures suggest that while overall deaths have declined, they remain significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, the Trace reports. A total of 48,117 people died of gunshot wounds last year, according to the CDC data, the second highest single-year tally on record. That’s a 1.5 percent decrease from 2021, when 48,830 people died of gunshot wounds. The data come from the CDC’s WONDER database, which collects mortality information from death certificates at the state level. The estimates are provisional, and are likely to change slightly before final figures are released in December.
Firearm injury was the 12th-leading cause of death in 2022, eclipsing car crashes for the sixth year in a row. The gap between the two widened even further last year as motor vehicle deaths fell year-over-year. The age-adjusted gun death rate in 2022 was 14.4 per 100,000 people, a slight decline from 2021, which recorded the highest rate since 1993. Suicides accounted for the largest share of gun deaths in 2022. Some 26,993 people died by gun suicide last year, accounting for 56 percent of all gun deaths. That’s a 2.5 percent jump from 2021. A total of 19,592 people died by gun homicide in 2022, accounting for 41 percent of gun deaths. That was a 6.5 percent drop from the previous year. That decrease could continue into 2023. Crime statistician Jeff Asher reported in June that murder was down around 11 percent in 100 cities in the first half of the year.