Deadly Statistics

Death comes in many forms, from natural causes to fatal injuries. The following is an extensive list of fatality statistics gathered over the years. Our data sources include U.S. federal agencies, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and nonprofits like We included a variety of deadly scenarios, from relatively common fatalities, such as cancer, to extreme and rare cases like bear attacks. So remember: use extreme caution when reading!

The Fatal Numbers:

  • The odds of being the victim of a shark attack are 1 in 11.5 million worldwide. Although there are 65 annual shark attacks each year, only a handful are fatal. Compared to this, a person is 3 times more likely to drown and 30 times more likely to be hit by lightning.
  • Compared to being killed by a dog, the likelihood of which is 1 in 18 million, a person is twice as likely to win the lottery and 5 times as likely to be struck by lightning.
  • One in 8 men and 1 in 24 women over the age of 40 will die from a sudden heart attack, while 1 in 4 men and 1 in 5 women will die from cancer.
  • Worldwide, 1 in about 2,050 people will die each year from unclean water, which carries numerous, life-threatening diseases. Each year, more people die from a lack of clean water than from wars.
  • The chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are about 1 in 20 million. A person is as likely to be killed by his or her own furniture, and more likely to die in a car accident, drown in a bathtub, or in a building fire than from a terrorist attack.
  • The chances a person will be killed by an asteroid are 1 in 200,000, which is much higher than the odds of being killed by hail, which is 1 in 734,400,000.
  • Each year, 1 out of 100,000 people die in a skydiving accident, which is 17 times lower than the risk of dying in a car accident.
  • 11 out of every 100,000 women in the United States will die after giving birth, which is ranked ahead of 40 other countries in maternal mortality. Obesity and the prevalence of C-sections have contributed to the increase in maternal mortality rates.
  • The odds of dying in a severe storm are 1 in 68,388. A person is more likely to die slipping in his or her bathtub, which occurs at a rate of 1 in 11,469.
  • A person’s chances of dying in an elevator are 1 in 10,440,000. Due to successful elevator brake systems, an elevator has plunged only once—in the Empire State Building in 1945.
  • The lifetime probability of dying in a car accident is 1 in 100, which is 200 times higher than the probability of dying in a plane crash.
  • While 1 out of 5 people fear the possibility of being murdered, the odds that a person will be murdered in any given year are about 1 in 18,690. According to the FBI, violent crime is now at a near-historic low.
  • According to the CDC, the infant mortality rate is about 6 for every 1,000 live births, which is more than 10 times higher than the mortality rate of the county with the highest vehicle mortality rate—San Bernardino, California—in the country.
  • The chance of being killed by a bear while visiting Yellowstone National Park is 1 in 2.1 million. As a park visitor, a person is more likely to die from drowning or burns sustained from falling into a thermal pool.