Who Owns Guns?

...most likely: white married southern men


If you're a white married man and a southerner, you're much more likely to own a gun than the rest of the nation. That's according to an analysis of Gallup polls from 2007 to 2012.

Gun ownership by subgroup: 

Gender % Gun Owner
Male 45%
Female 15%




Region % Gun Owner
East 21
Midwest 29
South 38
West 27





Marital Status % Gun Owner
Married 37
Unmarried 22




More from Gallup's analysis:

"Across those six data sets, an average of 30% of Americans said they personally own a gun. Another 14% did not personally own a gun but live in a household with someone who does. The results presented here focus mainly on personal gun ownership, though the demographic patterns are similar among the larger group of Americans living in gun households.

In addition to gender, Southern residence, and marital status, personal gun ownership also varies significantly by age, race, and political ideology.

  • Non-Hispanic whites (33%) are significantly more likely than nonwhites (22%) to own guns. Hispanics (18%) in particular show below-average gun ownership. Twenty-one percent of blacks own a gun.
  • Younger Americans (20%) are much less likely to own guns than older Americans. There are only minor differences among adults 30 and older by age group (ranging between 31% and 34%).
  • Gun ownership is much higher among those who are politically conservative (39%) than among those who are politically liberal (17%).

However, gender is by far the strongest predictor of personally owning a gun. A statistical model shows the odds of a man owning a gun are five times greater than the odds of a woman owning a gun, once the influence of other factors related to gun ownership is taken into account. Being from the South and being married are the next-most influential predictors; each is associated with 1.7 times greater odds of owning a gun than among those who are not married and among those who do not live in the South. Being Hispanic and being from the East are associated with lower gun ownership, but on a relative basis, these are the next strongest predictors of gun ownership, followed by race, ideology, and age."

More from Gallup here

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