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The Probability of Getting Caught in a Terrorist Attack Abroad
My friend and colleague Wendy Perrin recently wrote about the probability of getting caught in a terrorist attack abroad. With the non-stop news on the Paris terrorist attacks that has everyone freaking out (including me at times), it’s important to step back, take a deep breath and look at the statistics—like those provided in the article. Says Wendy:

“According to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas by incidents of terrorism from 2001 to 2013 was 350. If you’re thinking home is safer, compare that number with the 3,030 killed in the U.S. by terrorism during the same period. In terms of street crime and gun violence, most of the U.S. cities we live in are statistically more dangerous than the places we visit abroad. Your risk of being killed in a car crash (one in 19,000), drowning in your bathtub (one in 800,000), or being struck by lightning (one in 5.5 million) far exceed your risk of dying from terrorism (one in 20 million).”

So keep this in mind and keep traveling. Terrorists aim to instill fear in us and we can’t let them succeed.



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4 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: The Probability of Getting Caught in a Terrorist Attack Abroad"
  1. Cinda Asp|

    The statistics quoted are a little deceiving since they include the number of people killed in the New York trade towers destruction. Better comparison, to make your point, would be to compare traffic deaths.

  2. Michael|

    if you change the timeframe to 2002 to 2013, the number killed in the US drops essentially to zero.

  3. Tim|

    While I’m sure this article is well intentioned, its methodology is completely bogus. First off, the universe of US travelers (and readers of Johnny Jet) is older and much wealthier than the average US citizen. So, no, for this subset of the US population, US cities are not significantly more dangerous than European cities. To have this audience buy into the notion that they are at great risk in the US and at minimal risk in Europe from “street crime” (for similar behaviors) is misleading.

    Second, as pointed out above, including 9/11 statistics greatly skew findings whether you are at more risk of terrorism in the US or Europe. I think most experts, in the year 2015 which is the year we are living in, would calculate that an American of the Johnny Jet subset (older, wealthier, professional), is at greater risk in Europe than in the US of a terrorist attack.

    The good news is that the risk of being a victim of terrorism is still very small both in the US and in Europe. Its comforting to know that you are still much, much more likely to be killed by a loved one rather than a terrorist.

  4. Charles McCool|

    May the odds be ever in your favor.

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