School Shootings By State 2019

The United States is known as the land of freedom and opportunity. Throughout history, many people have immigrated to this nation to take advantage of the opportunity to grab a piece of the American dream. Unfortunately, though, not everything that happens in the U.S. is a dream. In fact, there are many recent incidents that have made even going to school a nightmare for students, teachers, and parents across the nation. Those incidents have been school shootings.

School shootings are truly a tragedy, bringing death and injuries to learning institutions that were believed to be a safe haven. These school shootings have brought about debates among Americans regarding gun control, mental health issues, bullying, and security.

Although these incidents have seemed to be in the news a lot lately, school shootings aren’t a new thing. In fact, one of the first reported school shootings occurred during the 1840s when John Anthony Gardner Davis, a professor at the University of Virginia, was shot and killed by his student. Additional shootings in the 1850s included the killing of schoolmaster William H.G. Butler in Louisville, Kentucky, and the death of the son of Col. Elijah Sebree at the hands of another student.

Though school shootings aren’t exactly new territory, recent shootings have become more deadly. Incidents include the Parkland, Florida, shootings that killed 17 and injured another 17, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which ended with a total of 28 deaths, and the Columbine High School massacre that resulted in the death of 15 people and injured 21.

Unfortunately, some states have seen far more school shootings than others. This data was tracked by the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security. In the K-12 School Shooting Database, it shows that California has had the highest number of school shootings since 1970 with a total of 158. The only other state with over 100 school shootings since 1970 was Texas with a total of 133. The state of Florida has had a total of 90 school shootings, Michigan has had 67, and Illinois has had 64.

All states have had at least one school shooting. The lowest number of school shootings since 1970 have occurred in North Dakota, where there has been just one incident. Wyoming, Vermont, Maine, and Idaho have each had low incidents of school shootings with just two apiece since 1970.

This list changes a bit when looking at school shootings per capita. Based on the highest rates of school shootings per one million people, Washington, D.C., tops the list with 32.74. Alaska has the next highest shootings per capita at 13.56, followed by Louisiana, Delaware, and Alabama.

* Based on publicly available data on incidents from 1970-present.
State Number of School Shootings 2019 Pop.
North Dakota1760,900
Idaho21,790,182
Maine21,342,097
Vermont2627,180
Wyoming2572,381
Hawaii31,416,589
West Virginia31,791,951
Rhode Island41,056,738
South Dakota4892,631
Alaska5735,720
New Hampshire61,363,852
Nebraska71,940,919
Delaware8975,033
Montana81,074,532
Kansas102,910,931
New Mexico102,096,034
Oklahoma113,948,950
Arizona127,275,070
Iowa123,167,997
Minnesota125,655,925
New Jersey128,922,547
Nevada133,087,025
Utah133,221,610
Kentucky144,484,047
Massachusetts146,939,373
Oregon144,245,901
Wisconsin155,832,661
Mississippi172,987,895
Arkansas183,026,412
Connecticut183,567,871
Colorado205,770,545
Indiana246,718,616
Virginia258,571,946
South Carolina275,147,111
Washington327,666,343
Missouri396,147,861
Alabama424,898,246
North Carolina4310,497,741
Louisiana444,652,581
Georgia4610,627,767
Tennessee466,833,793
Maryland476,062,917
New York4919,491,339
Pennsylvania5412,813,969
Ohio5511,718,568
Illinois6512,700,381
Michigan7010,020,472
Florida9021,646,155
Texas13529,087,070
California16439,747,267