Number of murder victims in the United States in 2012, by weapon

 Number of murder victims
Handguns 6,371
Firearms, type not stated 1,749
Knives or cutting instruments 1,589
Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) 678
Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) 518
Rifles 322
Shotguns 303
Other guns 110
Asphyxiation 105
Strangulation 89
Fire 85
Narcotics 35
Drowning 13
Poison 12
Explosives 8
Other weapons or weapons not stated 778
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This graph displays murder victims in the United States by weapon used in 2012. In 2012, 12 people were poisoned to death.


America’s most popular murder weapons

Handguns were by far the most popular murder weapon used in the US in 2011. That year 6,220 people were murdered with handguns. Knives or cutting instruments were the second most popular weapon used, with 1,694 murders committed with a knife. In most cases, the circumstances under which murders were committed in the U.S. that year were either unknown or unclear: 4,812 murders were committed due to unknown circumstances and 3,128 murders were committed due to unspecified arguments or disagreements. Robberies accounted for 734 murders in 2011. Thirty-nine children were killed by babysitters. Eighty-five lives were ended due to a romantic triangle.

Despite these macabre statistics, murder and non-negligent manslaughter accounted for only about 14,600 deaths in 2011. Murder was not within the top fifteen causes of death in the U.S. in 2010. Heart disease and cancer accounted for many more deaths that year. In 2010, about 174 deaths per 100,000 population were caused by heart disease alone. In 2008, 25.4 percent of deaths among men were caused by heart disease. Though rates of heart disease death among women were similar that year, a much smaller share of women died of unintentional injuries than men, only 3.5 percent of women’s deaths to 6.4 percent of men’s deaths. Suicide accounted for 2.3 percent of men’s deaths, while suicide was not within the top ten causes of death for women. About 2 percent more women died of stroke than men.

Though the death rate in America has dropped only slightly since 1990 from 8.6 deaths per 1,000 population to 8.07 deaths per 1,000 population in 2011 (195948), the cost of a funeral has risen dramatically since the 1960’s. As of 2006, a funeral cost, on average, 6,195 U.S. dollars. In 1960, the average funeral cost was 708 U.S. dollars.

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