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Risk of death from shark attack

Bottom line

The risk of dying from a shark attack anywhere in the world in 2004 was 1 in 913,200,766. You are 93 times more likely to be killed by contact with a hot water tap than in a shark attack.


Data sources

ISAF Statistics for the Worldwide Locations with the Highest Shark Attack Activity Since 1990 (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/statistics/statsw.htm)

US Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/)

National Safety Council (http://www.nsc.org/research/odds.aspx)

What the sources tell us

Give us the odds

Therefore the odds of dying from contact with a hot water tap are 93 times greater than those of dying in a shark attack.

Annual risk of death from shark attack

Risk Communication Tool (c) John Paling 2000 (www.riskcomm.com)

 

Comment

Of course, for the majority of people who do not spend much time swimming in shark inhabited waters the risk of death from shark attack is an overestimate so the difference would be even greater. As one Australian correspondent once pointed out, there are very few shark attacks in Alice Springs.