If New Orleans were a country, it would be second-worst for gun violence in the world

New Orleans and Gun Violence

New Orleans is a beautiful, charming, culturally-relevant part of the United States — and it also happens, periodically, to be extremely violent and gun-driven. How much so? Quite a bit, actually. 

U.S. Homicides Compared To Countries

  • As you can probably tell, this map takes U.S. cities, looks at firearm homicides per 100K people, and then compares them to countries.
  • You probably only have a general sense of how violent some countries around the world are, but certainly words like “Colombia” (Miami), “El Salvador” (Detroit), “Guyana” (Chicago), and “Honduras” (New Orleans) jump out.

In fact, if New Orleans were its own country, its rate of 62.1 firearm deaths per 100,000 people would be the second-worst rate in the world; per this chart, only Honduras would be worse.

There are a lot of flaws with this, of course — sometimes international homicide/gun death data is unreliable, and the very act of comparing U.S. cities (first-world and capitalist) to Central American nations is dicey. But it’s a visual and contextual way to underscore that U.S. gun violence is a palpably bad thing.

Ted Bauer


  1. U.S. gun violence is a palpably bad thing.

    Yet that very chart brings up a few interesting questions — such as why Boston and Washington D.C. have higher firearm homicide rates than some place like Austin Texas.

    Shouldn’t the lax laws in Texas mean there are more firearm related homicides

    But regional differences emerge when race is factored into the analysis. White southerners are significantly more likely to have a gun at home (47%) than whites in other regions. But because blacks disproportionately live in the South and are only half as likely to have a gun at home as whites, the overall rate for the southern region falls to 38%.

    Other longstanding beliefs about the makeup of America’s gun-owning households are confirmed by these data. For example, rural residents and older adults are disproportionately more likely than other Americans to have a gun at home.

    Americans with a gun at home also differ politically from other adults. Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to be members of a gun-owning household. Political independents also are more likely than Democrats to have a firearm in their homes.

    And given that urban areas — especially those represented in the coastal areas — are more often liberal/democrat than conservative republican — why are those areas higher in per capita firearm related deaths?

    How about Los Angeles and San Francisco — why are their rates higher than some Texas cities ? In fact, why is there a difference between Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston?

    Bob S.

    • These are very good points to take into consideration; thank you for raising them. Honestly framed the whole short post in a different light for me.

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