Sunday, February 05, 2017


A lot of attention is being paid to the risk to US citizens from terrorist attacks, particularly terrorist attacks perpetrated by refugees from abroad.

According to a Cato Institute report that used data from 1975 to 2016, "the chance of an American
perishing in a terrorist attack on U.S. soil that was committed by [any] foreigner over the 41-year period studied here [was] 1 in 3.6 million per year.
" If the perpetrator category is restricted to refugees, the odds are 1 in 3.64 BILLION per year.  If the perpetrator category is restricted to illegal immigrants, the odds become 1 in 10.9 billion.

To help put this into perspective, here are some additional data for comparison:

Odds of dying from:
Being pushed in front of a subway train: 1 in 2,211,000,000
Being crushed by a meteorite: 1 in 700,000
Lightning strike: 1 in 174,426
(Odds of merely being struck by lightning are 1 in 12,000 in a lifetime)
Legal execution: 1 in 111,439
Air and space transport incidents:1 in 9737
Choking from inhalation and ingestion of food: 1 in 3408
Unintentional drowning: 1 in 1183
Assault by firearm: 1 in 358
Falling: 1 in 133
Motor vehicle crash: 1 in 113
Chronic lung disease: 1 in 27
Heart disease and cancer: 1 in 7

Some other miscellaneous odds:
Odds of winning the Powerball grand prize: 1 in 292,201,338
Odds of becoming a US astronaut: 1 in 12,100,000
Odds of becoming the US President: 1 in 10,000,000
Odds that the US President attended Harvard: 1 in 3.58
Odds of becoming a movie star: 1 in 1,190,000
Odds of becoming a billionare in the US: 1 in 785,000
Odds a person will visit the ER for a golf cart accident: 1 in 22, 355
Odds of becoming a best-selling author: 1 in 220
Odds a woman believes it is acceptable to have sex on a first date: 1 in 50
Odds a man believes it is acceptable to have sex on a first date: 1 in 5
Odds a February day in DC will be rainy: 1 in 3.1
Odds an NFL pass will be a completion: 1 in 1.7
Odds a person is right-handed: 1 in 1.1

Data Sources:
National Safety Council
Las Vegas Review-Journal

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