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Infographic of the Day: Does the U.S. Really Have That Many Guns?

In fact, we have more than you likely ever imagined.

Leave aside whether you believe in the right to bear arms, as it stands these days. Consider instead: how many guns do Americans have? Is it so large, compared to the rest of the world? Short answer: Yes.

This infographic by charts out who owns the world's handguns. And the stats are mind-boggling. For example, in the U.S., there are about 90 handguns per 100 people. That's three times what you find in Germany, France, or Sweden. And its 2.5 times what you find in Iraq.

We got there, of course, by our love not just of owning guns, but buying them. Of the world's 875 million firearms, the U.S. buys about 275 million, and roughly 70% of those go to private citizens. Each year, 8 million new guns are produced and 4.5 million are bought by Americans. All of which means that between 40-50% of American households own a gun. Just scroll through this thing for more stats — some of them are truly astounding:

[Click for full-sized version]

[Via WeLoveDataVis]

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  • JHC

    I agree with the other readers, difficult to take away the information, but interesting information.

  • daltxguy

    It's expected that the gun defenders are all over this but nothing justifies people in the USA needing more handguns than anyone else on earth. Nothing.

  • Andrew Krause

    FSU Criminologys Gary Cleck did a study that found over 2m Defensive Gun Uses (DGUs) occurring in the US each year. That's rougly one every 16 seconds. That's 4 DGU's per every homocide.

    As a multiple owner (two handguns, one varmint hunting rifle and one semi-auto battle rifle), I'm more than happy to help lead the planet in the ability to shoot back. Now if we can just get our math and science rankings back up there...

  • Greg Burton

    What is the percentage of households in the US that own guns? Like Paul, I would expect the ratios to drop dramatically if you take multiple-gun households into account. Also, I would like to see you compare the ratios of deaths by gun per capita in the US vs. other countries, and then compare this against the per capita ownership of guns per country.

  • Paul Carney

    While that stats do point to a larger concentration in the United States, there is one other factor missing in the counts: gun collection. Many of the guns that are owned by the people I know where it exceeds more than one per household are many times collectors.

    It would be interesting to see the numbers of guns that are parts of a collection, like coins and art. Those would put a better reflection on how many guns are actually purchased to be used and not just part of a collection.