The Bay State leads the nation in a lot of metrics, regularly topping lists of U.S. states in areas like education and overall quality of life.

In fact, according to the U.N.'s Human Development Index — which takes health, education, and standard of living into account — if Massachusetts were its own country, it would rank sixth in the world (the U.S. as a whole isn't even in the top 20.)

So it should come as no surprise that our commonwealth also has the lowest rate of people killed by firearms in the nation.

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According to data from the Centers for Disease Control analyzed by the Violence Policy Center, in 2021 Massachusetts topped the list of states ranked for gun safety.

The Bay State jumped into the lead from second place in 2020, when it came just behind Hawaii.

Other leaders in preventing firearm-related deaths include mostly Northeastern states: New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

The nonprofit Violence Policy Center notes that states with the lowest gun death rates typically have strong gun violence prevention laws and low gun ownership rates.

Mississippi has the worst firearm death rate of 32.6 deaths per 100,000 residents — nearly ten times higher than Massachusetts' rate of 3.5 per 100,000.

In 2021 — the most recent year for which data is available — 48,830 Americans were killed by gunfire.

That's up 8% from the 45,222 killed by firearms in 2020, according to the center.

The data comes from the CDC and includes firearm deaths from homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.

Here are the list of states ranked by firearm death rates, from lowest to highest.

States Ranked by Gun Death Rates

Gun death rates per 100,000 are high in the U.S., and getting higher. Here's a list of states ranked by firearm safety, from lowest death rates to highest. Data for 2021 is from the CDC via Violence Policy Center.

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