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Toll Of U.S. Youths Dying By Gunfire Keeps Rising, Up 50% In Two Years

The number of U.S. kids dying by gunfire keeps rising. Gun deaths among young people rose 50% in the last two years, according to a Pew Research Center report. More children and teens were killed by guns in 2021 than in any year since 1999, the first year the Centers for Disease Control began tracking the data, Axios reports. While the majority of adult gun deaths are by suicide, children and teens killed by gunfire are more likely to die by homicide (60%). And 2022 marked the most violent year in schools — with 46 shootings — since 1999. The most recent shooting took four lives at the Covenant School in Nashville two weeks ago. The rise in child and teen firearm deaths mirrors the overall increase in U.S. gun deaths. There were 48,830 gun deaths among Americans in 2021. That was up 23% from 2019 and the highest yearly total on record.

America's life expectancy has been falling in recent years, from 79 in 2019 to 76 in 2021, driven by the pandemic, the rise of gun violence and drug overdoses. Australia's life expectancy is 83 and Britain's is 80.

Older U.S. adults have similar life expectancies to their counterparts in other wealthy countries. The high number of young deaths in the U.S. is bringing the overall life expectancy down. One in 25 American kindergartners won't make it to their 40th birthday. The data is alarming parents from coast to coast; 55% of U.S. parents said they were somewhat or extremely worried about their kids getting shot, said a Pew survey.


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