The United States accounted for 31 per cent of all public mass shootings between 1966-2012, according to a report.
Washington, United States:
There are more public mass shootings in the United States than in any other country, with 90 incidents taking place every year between 1966 and 2012, according to a new study. This accounts for nearly one in three of 292 such incidents globally during the period.
"People have been a little surprised by these statistics," CNN quoted Adam Lankford, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama, who did the analysis.
Mr Lankford presented his work at the American Sociological Association's annual conference last weekend and says it's the first research of its kind to do a global comparison.
Mass shootings are defined for the study as having four or more victims and don't include gang killings or slayings that involve the death of multiple family members.
In the US, people have a greater chance of dying in mass shootings if they are at work or at school. Overseas, these incidents typically happen near military installations, said the report.
In more than half the American cases, the shooter had more than one firearm. In global incidents, the shooter typically had only one gun. And in the US, there are 6.87 victims on average per incident. In the other 171 countries studied by the professor, the average was 8.8 victims per incident.
Some researchers also believe these mass killings can be contagious. The copycat phenomenon is more acute in the US because guns are more accessible than in other countries, Mr Lankford said.
The US has five per cent of the world's population, and has an average of one firearm for every American citizen, accounting for 31 per cent of all public mass shootings.
The United States has more guns than any other country in the world. There are an estimated 270 million to 310 million firearms in circulation in America. With the American population at 318.9 million, that breaks down to nearly one firearm for every American, said the report.