Methodology

Data Sources & Collection

Fatal injury data in EveryStat comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). The CDC compiles this data from death certificates, which are provided by vital registration systems from state and local jurisdictions. EveryStat uses CDC data from two sources:

1) All gun death data, trends over time, and national- and state-level data comes from the Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS).

2) Leading causes of death among children and teens and county-level data comes from the Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research (WONDER).

Statistics of intimate partner homicides are based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR), which compile data from law enforcement agencies. This is one of the few sources of homicide data that includes information about the relationship between the victim and offender. The SHR do not include data from Florida. For Florida, data was obtained directly from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Data on shootings by law enforcement comes from The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database. While the CDC is considered to be the most comprehensive source for data on fatal firearm injuries, its data on shootings by law enforcement is estimated to be greatly underreported. This is largely due to missing information on death certificates, which may result in the misclassification of intent.

Data on the homicide of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans is gathered by Everytown for Gun Safety through media reports. In this analysis, “transgender” and “gender non-conforming” identities include any victim who lived or identified as a gender different than that which was ascribed to them at birth.

Demographics

Racial and ethnic categories in EveryStat are defined by the CDC. EveryStat contains five separate, mutually exclusive racial and ethnic categories.

American Indian = American Indian/Alaskan Native, non-Hispanic
Asian = Asian/Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic
Black = Black, non-Hispanic
Hispanic (sometimes self-identified as Latinx) = American Indian Hispanic + Asian Hispanic + Black Hispanic + white Hispanic
White = white, non-Hispanic

Children and teens are defined as individuals between the ages of 0 and 19 years. In statistics regarding the “leading causes of death,” however, children and teens are defined as those between the ages of 1 and 19. This is because the leading causes of death for newborns and infants less than 1 year of age are considerably different from those 1 year and up.

Missing Data

In order to protect identities, the CDC does not publicly report data when a state or county’s death count is less than or equal to 10 deaths. In addition, the CDC considers rates unreliable when the death count is less than or equal to 20 deaths. State or county data that is suppressed or considered unreliable has not been included in EveryStat.

Analysis / Calculation

Unless otherwise noted, and in order to account for normal fluctuations that occur between years, data was obtained for 2013 to 2017. EveryStat presents averages of these five years.

Age-adjusted rates per 100,000 people were obtained directly from the CDC. Crude rates of intimate partner homicides per 100,000 people were calculated using population data provided by the CDC.

Additional statistics in EveryStat were calculated based on the data queried from the CDC and FBI’s databases. To compare the rate at which a given outcome affects two different groups, a disparity ratio was used. For example, a disparity ratio was used to calculate the following: Black women are two times as likely as white women to be fatally shot by an intimate partner.

Disparity ratio = age-adjusted rate of population A (higher rate) / age-adjusted rate of population B (lower rate)

Percent changes compare new values to old values. This formula is used when looking at the percent increase or decrease in firearm deaths.

Percent change = (new value – old value) / old value

Percent differences are used when comparing a state’s death rate to the national rate and when comparing two states’ death rates to each other.

Percent difference = (value A – value B) / average of values A & B