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Firearm Deaths - Women
Firearm Deaths - Women in United States
United States

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United States Value:


Number of deaths due to firearm injury of any intent (unintentional, suicide, homicide or undetermined) per 100,000 females ages 20-44

Firearm Deaths - Women in depth:

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Firearm Deaths - Women by State

Number of deaths due to firearm injury of any intent (unintentional, suicide, homicide or undetermined) per 100,000 females ages 20-44

Firearm Deaths - Women Trends

Number of deaths due to firearm injury of any intent (unintentional, suicide, homicide or undetermined) per 100,000 females ages 20-44

Trend: Firearm Deaths - Women in United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Number of deaths due to firearm injury of any intent (unintentional, suicide, homicide or undetermined) per 100,000 females ages 20-44

United States

 CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files

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About Firearm Deaths - Women

US Value: 5.6

Top State(s): Massachusetts: 1.1

Bottom State(s): Mississippi: 15.0

Definition: Number of deaths due to firearm injury of any intent (unintentional, suicide, homicide or undetermined) per 100,000 females ages 20-44

Data Source and Years: CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files, 2019-2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC WONDER, Multiple Cause of Death Files, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Firearm violence is a serious and deadly public health issue, especially for women. Women in the United States are nearly 20 times more likely to die by firearm compared with women in other high-income countries. Between 2010 and 2021, firearm deaths among U.S. females increased 71%

One study found that more than half of all female homicides are related to intimate partner violence, and approximately 10% of women killed by an intimate partner experienced violence in the month preceding their death. Women are five times more likely to die if their abuser has access to a gun. Similarly, suicide rates are higher among women who live with a person who owns a gun.

Research indicates that women who experienced a mass shooting in their county during pregnancy are more prone to giving birth to premature babies and babies with extremely low birth weight.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, the firearm death rate is higher among: 

  • Women ages 20-34 compared with those ages 35-44.
  • Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women compared with Asian women.

Firearm deaths are preventable; efforts at the individual, community and policy levels can reduce the firearm death rate.

It is safest not to keep any guns in the home, but there are steps gun owners can take to improve household gun safety, like: 

  • Making sure all guns inside the house are unloaded and locked away securely.
  • Keeping all lock combinations, codes and storage keys appropriately hidden, especially from children.

Targeting intimate partner violence, which contributes significantly to firearm deaths among women, is also necessary. Strategies to prevent intimate partner violence include

  • Teaching social-emotional, conflict management and communication skills. 
  • Employing early childhood interventions to reduce risk factors associated with partner violence later in life, such as child abuse or neglect, and promote positive parenting skills and family dynamics.
  • Improving financial security for low-income families. 
  • Increasing survivor supports such as victim-centered advocacy, health care services, housing programs and legal protections. 

Community violence interventions can offer conflict resolution, mental health and social support services targeted at the specific needs of a local community, and are most effective when partnered with local government agencies that can expand their resources and reach. State-level policy recommendations include strengthening firearms legislation, particularly background check and permit laws. 

Moreover, policies aimed at temporarily confiscating firearms from individuals who are at risk of suicide or posing a threat of violence towards others have proven to be successful. Examples of such policies include Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) and Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). DVPOs, which mandate the removal of firearms, have demonstrated a 12% decrease in intimate partner homicides. ERPOs are more recent policies that specifically target access to firearms. A study on ERPO-style law estimated that for every 10-20 firearms removed, one life was potentially saved.

Improving access to mental health resources can help prevent suicide. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in distress 24/7, everywhere in the U.S. Their website offers additional forms of crisis support, and the previous National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (1-800-273-TALK(8255)) is still active and usable.

Healthy People 2030 has several violence prevention objectives related to firearms, including: 

Davis, Ari, Lisa Geller, Rose Kim, Silvia Villarreal, Alexander McCourt, Janel Cubbage, and Cassandra Crifasi. 2022. “A Year in Review: 2020 Gun Deaths in the U.S.” Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Lee, Lois K., Eric W. Fleegler, Caitlin Farrell, Elorm Avakame, Saranya Srinivasan, David Hemenway, and Michael C. Monuteaux. 2017. “Firearm Laws and Firearm Homicides: A Systematic Review.” JAMA Internal Medicine 177 (1): 106.

Miller, Matthew, Yifan Zhang, Lea Prince, Sonja A. Swanson, Garen J. Wintemute, Erin E. Holsinger, and David M. Studdert. 2022. “Suicide Deaths Among Women in California Living With Handgun Owners vs Those Living With Other Adults in Handgun-Free Homes, 2004-2016.” JAMA Psychiatry 79 (6): 582.

Petrosky, Emiko, Janet M. Blair, Carter J. Betz, Katherine A. Fowler, Shane P. D. Jack, and Bridget H. Lyons. 2017. “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Homicides of Adult Women and the Role of Intimate Partner Violence — United States, 2003–2014.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 66 (28): 741–46.

Rees, Chris A., Michael C. Monuteaux, Isabella Steidley, Rebekah Mannix, Lois K. Lee, Jefferson T. Barrett, and Eric W. Fleegler. 2022. “Trends and Disparities in Firearm Fatalities in the United States, 1990-2021.” JAMA Network Open 5 (11): e2244221.

Soni, Aparna, and Erdal Tekin. 2022. “Mass Shootings In The United States: Population Health Impacts And Policy Levers.” Health Affairs Health Policy Brief. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Websdale, Neil, Kathleen Ferraro, and Steven D. Barger. 2019. “The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Clearinghouse: Introduction to a New National Data System with a Focus on Firearms.” Injury Epidemiology 6 (1): 6.

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