The United States is ranked number one in the world when it comes to gun ownership. Estimates show that there are anywhere from over 200 million to more than 350 million guns in the U.S. Because of variances in regulations throughout the nation, it’s impossible to get exact numbers when it comes to the total number of guns in the nation and the number of guns in each state. However, the Pew Research Center has compiled data that is about as accurate as it gets.
Before diving into gun ownership stats by state, let’s take a look at some general gun statistics throughout the nation. According to the Pew Research Center, the South United States has the highest amount of gun owners, with about 36% of residents living in this region owning a gun. The Midwest and West each respectively have gun ownership levels that exceed 30%, while the Northeast has the lowest number of gun owners at about 16%. Most guns in the United States are owned by rural households, while more men own guns than women.
Now, let’s take a look at gun ownership by state. It’s important to note that we’re looking at the total percentage of gun ownership based on population. While one state may have more guns, the population may also be higher. For the purposes of this article, we’re focusing on the total percentage of gun ownership in relation to the state’s population.
Based on this, the state of Alaska has the highest rate of gun ownership at 61.7% in its population of over 735,000. Arkansas has the next highest percentage of gun owners at 57.9% with its population of over 3 million. There are several other states which have gun ownership percentages that exceed 50%. That includes Idaho, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Montana.
On the other side of the scale, we have the states with the lowest percentage of gun owners. Delaware – a state with a population reaching nearly one million – has a very low gun ownership rate of 5.2%. Rhode Island isn’t far behind with a rate of 5.8% across over 1 million residents. These are the only two states with gun ownership rates that fall below 10%.