States with most shark attacks

Where Are the Most Shark Attacks in the U.S.?

The most shark attacks are in the state of Florida, and the majority of those attacks occur in Volusia County, which has the most shark attacks ever recorded, at 343. Brevard County, Florida, was the county with the second-most ever recorded, with 156 shark attacks. Of the 30 U.S. counties with the most shark attacks, 12 are located in Florida.

The 10 U.S. Counties With the Most Shark Attacks Ever Recorded

  1. Volusia County, FL: 343
  2. Brevard County, FL: 156
  3. Palm Beach County, FL: 82
  4. Maui County, HI: 73
  5. Duval County, FL: 46
  6. St. Johns County, FL: 45
  7. Oahu County, HI: 42
  8. Martin County, FL: 41
  9. Charleston County, SC: 39
  10. St. Lucie County, FL: 37

This visual also looks at the number of shark attacks that have occurred in the United States over the past ten years, between 2013 and 2022, to see how many shark attacks have been happening in the coastal states. It also details the eight shark attack fatalities that occurred during this time.

  1. Florida: 242
  2. Hawaii: 71
  3. South Carolina: 44
  4. North Carolina: 31
  5. California: 28

How likely are you to get bitten by a shark? Not that likely. With an average of 40 shark attacks in the United States each year and the average shark attack fatality rate at just one per year, plenty of other things have a much better chance of killing a person than a shark attack. Below are just some of the animals and situations that are a bigger threat to Americans than being killed by a shark.

  • Falling out of bed kills 450 people each year.
  • Deer colliding with cars kill 440 people each year.
  • Bees, hornets, and wasps kill 58 people every year.
  • Lightning kills 49 people each year.
  • Dogs kill 40 people each year.
  • Cows kill 20 people each year.
  • Snakes kill five people each year.
  • Vending machine accidents kill two people every year.
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While the odds of being bitten by a shark are fairly low and the odds of being killed by a shark are even lower, there are some steps that can be taken to further reduce the risk of a shark attack. Below are some of the simple steps you can take or things to avoid doing when swimming in ocean waters.

  • Don’t swim in water when it’s dark or dusk, as this is when sharks are more active.
  • Avoid wearing shiny items like jewelry or metal clasps; light reflects off of metal and can resemble fish scales.
  • Don’t swim if you are bleeding from a wound or menstruating; sharks are able to smell blood from long distances.
  • Avoid wearing bright colors; sharks see contrast well, and a bright color against skin can draw their attention.
  • Don’t swim too far from shore, where sharks are more likely to be and help is farther away.
  • Swim in groups instead of alone, as sharks are more likely to attack a person on their own.
  • Refrain from splashing too much in the water, which can draw a shark’s attention.
  • Avoid swimming in waters used for fishing, as bait fish can draw a shark to that area. Seabirds diving for bait fish are a good indication that sharks could be nearby in the water.
  • Be cautious when swimming in murky waters; when visibility is low, a nearby shark may not be noticed.
  • Avoid bringing pets into the water, as their erratic movements and splashing could attract a shark.

We compared the shark attack numbers from 2013 to 2022 to the total number of shark attacks that have been recorded for each state going back to 1837. A large percentage of the total attacks for each state were found to have occurred during the past ten years. Florida shark attacks during this time amounted to 242, which was 27% of their total shark attacks ever recorded. There have been a total of 1,596 shark attacks recorded in the United States, with 29% of them occurring within just the past ten years.

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Why are shark attacks on the rise in recent years? The increases have been traced to human destruction of shark’s habitats through development and tourism as well as climate change. This human interference forces the sharks closer to shore, where swimmers are, leading to an increase in attacks. If these shark attack trends continue, well, you’re going to need a bigger boat.