The 25 Most Likely Ways You Will Die

Posted by on February 2, 2012

It happens to everyone sooner or later, we can assure you of that much. And while we can’t tell you the how, when, or where, we can make use of that wonderfully annoying branch of mathematics known as statistics to at least give you a list of probable answers. The data on this list comes to you from several sources, but primarily the National Center for Health Statistics, the National Safety Council, and the World Health Organization (WHO). So, after many late nights of number morbid number crunching the brightest minds in the world bring you the statistical probabilities related to the 25 most likely ways you will die. Enjoy?

Fireworks Discharge (1-in-615,488)

Every year in the United States almost 10,000 people are admitted to hospital emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries with most of these (roughly 60%) ocurring around July 4th.


Tsunami (1-in-500,000)

Although they don’t happen too often, when they do they can take hundreds of thousands of lives. It can be hard to gauge the exact effect of a tsunami, however, because the numbers are often mixed in with earthquakes (#20). Also, your level of risk will obviously vary depending upon your location.


Asteroid Impact (1-in-500,000)

This is an interesting one that, for obvious reasons, is hard to estimate. In recent years, however, your chances have improved from 1/20,000 to 1/500,000 in some cases. This is primarily due to the fact that most large asteroids on near Earth collision courses have now been identified and labeled as non-threats.


Dog Attack (1-in-147,717)

Ironically, if you are going to be killed by a non-human mammal, then it will most likely be man’s best friend. It has been estimated that about 2% of people in the United States are bitten every year with around 20 deaths as a result.


Earthquake (1-in-131,890)

Once again, depending on where you live your risk will shift, and while earthquakes are rated as more deadly than tsunamis, this is only because tsunamis are many times caused by seismic activity.


Snake, Bee or other Venomous Bite or Sting (1-in-100,000)

According to some estimates you’re almost twice as likely to die of a bee sting than a dog bite. Every year in the US around 50 people die of allergic reactions to venom.


Lightning Strike (1-in-83,930)

Each year around the world about a quarter of a million people are struck by lightning with about 10% of the strikes being fatal. Contrary to popular belief you can still be struck even in a shed or makeshift shelter and every once in a while lightning can contribute to your risk of dying from #14.


Tornado (1-in-60,000)

If you live in the United States or Eastern India, then your chances of dying in a swirling mess of debris are significantly higher. Just last year in the United States 552 people were killed as a result of tornados while the total number world wide was 576.


Legal Execution (1-in-58,618)

Although most of the world has abolished the death penalty, if you live in China, North Korea, Yemen, Iran, or the United States your chances of being legally executed skyrocket as these 5 countries still make good use of capital punishment.


Flood (1-in-30,000)

As one of the most common and dangerous natural disasters, floods claim more lives annually than any other of the catastrophes on our list.


Air Travel Accident (1-in-20,000)

Although people are generally far more terrified of flying than going on a road trip, it should be noted once again that flying is not only just a little bit safer than driving, it’s hundreds of times safer than driving (#6).


Drowning (1-in-8,942)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide claiming hundreds of thousands of lives annually.


Electrocution (1-in-5,000)

Including deaths due to lightning and capital punishment, electrocution claims about 1,000 lives in the United States annually with most of these being related to on-the-job injuries.


Bicycle Accident (1-in-4,717)

Usually when someone dies riding a bicycle it involves a motorist of some sort, and generally speaking, in countries where more people ride bicycles it is much safer to do so.


Natural Forces (1-in-3,357)

This includes lightning, tornados , floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and any other natural disaster as a catch-all statistic to give you an idea of how likely you are to perish as a result of mother nature’s wrath.

David Pegg


After helping found the United Nations, the United States, and United Airlines, David consigned himself to a transient life of writing lists and sleeping on park benches.

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  • Tyler


  • fhdgr

    i believed u until the chuvk norris thing

  • Aditi

    I’m a little confused, are these statistics from the U.S only or World Wide? The National Center for Health Statistics and the National Safety Council would give stats for the U.S only, but the World Health Organization (WHO) would give global percentages ? It is a little unclear

  • my real name is real name

    chuck Norris I appreciate the humor I thought I was being to morbid for a sec. lolololol

  • 345093845dsfkj

    And another one. Getting tired yet?

  • asdf

    Here’s another one. Moderate away.

  • adsfkjalsdfkjsdfsdflkjlkjasdflkj

    I’m just going to keep on making random comments until the moderator gets tired, or his mom tells him to turn off his laptop and go to bed. Big school day tomorrow, kiddo!


    Damn Chuck Norris, you scary!

  • Christopher

    Hahaha I love it

  • annie

    Hello hello hello lol

  • jesus

    Really? Chuck Norris?! C’mon!

  • kb

    This is BS. Assault by firearm is 1-325? Really? That is a .3% chance of getting shot (1/325=.003 => 3%). Is that taking the whole world into account? Even so that number seems ridiculously high. In 2010 11,000 homicides in the US were by gun. There are about 313,000,000 people in the US. 11,000/313,000,000 = .00003 => .003%, so that rate is off by 100x. add two more zeros to that 325 (32,500) and you’re a little closer, which puts it closer to your flood numbers…. which I also doubt are accurate. This whole list is likely way off.

    • Robin Hood

      The entire thing is just a joke in the end. Nobody said that it is 100% accurate, nor did he ask to be corrected.

    • Raoul Real

      Get a sense of humor. The list ended with Chuck Norris. This isn’t a multi-year study by a leading research university. My guess is that there is a 90% chance that all the numbers were made up to prolong the setup to the punchline.

  • matt

    This article is bull and chuck Norris is 72 years old. Norris was also defeated in his first two tournaments, Don’t believe everything you see on TV. If you pinned chuck Norris vs a young boxer who has only been boxing for 5 years my money would be on the boxer. I wanted a serous article not a joke article thanks for wasting my time.

    • Another fan

      Doesnt matter how old he is, he will still find you.

  • ruffus

    Very interesting list. But most all of them are going to happen one day :( I just hope i die in my sleep with a good dream nothing bad

  • Tom

    So… the stat on gun related deaths is wrong. According to UNODC and OAS, you only have a 1 in 9,803 chance of dying due to a firearm, and in fact, that includes suicides which are almost double homicides. If you only count homicides, the rate is 1 in 27,027. Just between “flood” and “air travel accident”

  • slim

    All together weird, Lol !!

    • Ruffus

      Nobody says LOL any more, if your going to say it just laugh dont put LOL it is very very old

      • Lana

        Maybe they don’t care, maybe they are old, either way they should be able to express themselves without criticism. I’m feeling pretty high on my horse today.

      • sdlkfj

        Oh, God, please, I’m begging you to tell me what the COOL KIDS say! I simply must know, or I will surely die die die!!!! I will be so mortified…or wait, do people say “mortified” anymore? Oh god, I’m going to be uncool, OH NO!!!!

  • eddie

    Great list, until number 1 was revealed. Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. *facepalm*

  • Jack

    Great list. Was particularly surprised about #1. Haha