How Many Individuals and Households in the United States Own Guns?

Although I’ve addressed U.S. gun ownership levels previously, I realize that I have done so by looking at percentages of individuals and households rather than numbers. Given changing population sizes (the all important denominator), percentages are usually the relevant indicators.

But sometimes you want to know the actual number, so I am posting this to have these numbers handy when people ask. (How I calculated these numbers after the photo illustration.)

Minimum estimates for 2019 are:

# of Individuals in the United States who own guns: 76,414,161.

# of Households in the United States that have guns: 47,892,051

# of People in U.S. Households that have guns: 125,956,094


(1a) The inputs for these calculations are taken from the U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts, which show that 77.6% of the population is over 18 years of age (2019) and the estimated population is 328,239,523 (July 2019). So, a representative survey of the U.S. adult population covers 254,713,870 individuals.

(1b) According to the Census Bureau, the number of households in the U.S. is 119,730,128 (covering years 2014-2018).

(1c) According to the Census Bureau, the average number of persons per household is 2.63 (covering years 2014-2018).

(2) I have argued that minimum estimates of gun owners and gun owning households are 30% and 40%, respectively.

(3a) Individual gun ownership = 254,713,870 * 0.30 = 76,414,161

(3b) Household gun ownership = 119,730,128 * 0.40 = 47,892,051

(3c) Persons in gun owning households = 47,892,051 * 2.63 = 125,956,094

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