School Shootings By State 2020

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 2020 Pop.
North Dakota1761,723
Idaho21,826,156
Maine21,345,790
Vermont2628,061
Wyoming2567,025
Hawaii31,412,687
West Virginia31,778,070
Rhode Island41,056,161
South Dakota4903,027
Alaska5734,002
New Hampshire61,371,246
Nebraska71,952,570
Delaware8982,895
Montana81,086,759
Kansas102,910,357
New Mexico102,096,640
Oklahoma113,954,821
Arizona127,378,494
Iowa123,179,849
Minnesota125,700,671
New Jersey128,936,574
Nevada133,139,658
Utah133,282,115
Kentucky144,499,692
Massachusetts146,976,597
Oregon144,301,089
Wisconsin155,851,754
Mississippi172,989,260
Arkansas183,038,999
Connecticut183,563,077
Colorado205,845,526
Indiana246,745,354
Virginia258,626,207
South Carolina275,210,095
Washington327,797,095
Missouri396,169,270
Alabama424,908,621
North Carolina4310,611,862
Louisiana444,645,184
Georgia4610,736,059
Tennessee466,897,576
Maryland476,083,116
New York4919,440,469
Pennsylvania5412,820,878
Ohio5511,747,694
Illinois6512,659,682
Michigan7010,045,029
Florida9021,992,985
Texas13529,472,295
California16439,937,489