Americans own 4 out of every 10 guns in the world

By Elizabeth Elkin

Published August 27, 2018

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America has a unique relationship with firearms, one that’s enshrined in the Constitution and staunchly defended by gun owners.

A new report by the Small Arms Survey reveal just how prevalent guns are in the US:

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Globally, 1 billion firearms were in circulation last year.

857 million belonged to civilians.

Americans make up only 4% of the world's population…

… but US civilians own 40% of the world’s firearms

Americans own more guns than civilians in the other top 25 countries combined.

For every 100 residents in the US, there are 120.5 firearms.

In the last five years, gun acquisitions in the US has averaged around 14 million guns annually.

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The Small Arms Survey used data from multiple sources in this report, including civilian firearm registration data and survey results.

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It's a very significant increase from the number we previously published in 2007, largely because civilian purchasing has grown since then.

Aaron Karp

Small Arms Survey Senior Consultant