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How many people get struck by lightning a year?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

- how many people are struck by lightning each year
- how many people have been struck by lightning since we started recording it
- how often do people get struck by lightning
- what are the chances of getting struck by lightning
- what your chances of survival (and death) are
- how many people survive lightning strikes
- whether men are more likely to get struck by lightning

Let’s dig in.

~310 people get struck by lightning per year.

About 20 people are killed by lightning each year in the US, with hundreds more injured.

Globally, approximately 2,000 people are killed by lightning each year, with hundreds more surviving strikes.

~4,236 people have been struck by lightning in the US.

That is since we started recording this data in 1959.

- From 1959 to 2003, there were 3,696 recorded deaths due to lightning in the U.S.
- From 2004 to 2013, about 330 people (33 people per year on average) died from lightning strikes.
- From 2006 to 2021, 444 people died from lightning strikes in the U.S.

The periods from 2004-2013 and 2006-2021 overlap.

The average number of deaths per year from 2004 to 2021 is about 30.

This suggests around 540 deaths in this period.

So, we add 3,696 recorded lightning deaths plus the 540.

When we add these figures to earlier data, we get an estimated total.

This total is about 4,236.

This is the number of deaths recorded from lightning strikes in the U.S. from 1959 to 2021.

Remember, this is only an estimate.

The actual number could be different.

Also, this data only includes deaths.

It doesn’t account for all the times people were struck by lightning and survived.

Someone gets struck by lightning every 1.17 days, on average.

There are ~310 people that get struck by lightning per year.

365 days / 310 lightning strikes = 1.17 days / lightning strike

Now, this is not reality as how often people get struck by lightning depends on:

- geographical location
- weather patterns
- individual behavior

The chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 0.63 million.

There were 194,549,696 lightning strikes that hit the ground last year.

But, there were only 310 people that reported getting struck by lightning.

Here is a step-by-step explanation of the calculation:

**Calculate the ratio of people struck to total lightning strikes**: The first step is to calculate how many people were struck for each lightning strike. To do this, divide the number of people struck by lightning (310) by the total number of lightning strikes (194,549,696). The equation for this step is:*310 / 194,549,696 = 0.000001593*

This tells us that for every single lightning strike, there is a 0.000001593 chance that a person is struck.**Find the reciprocal**: The next step is to find the reciprocal of this number, which gives us the odds of a person being struck by a lightning strike. The reciprocal of a number is found by dividing 1 by that number. So, in this case, the equation is:*1 / 0.000001593 = 628,224*

This means that, on average, one person is struck for every 628,224 lightning strikes.**Convert to odds per million**: To express this in terms of odds per million, we divide the number from step 2 (628,224) by 1,000,000 (since there are 1 million units in a ‘per million’ calculation). The equation is:*628,224 / 1,000,000 = 0.63*

Based on these calculations, the chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 0.63 million.

There is a 0.0001587% chance of being struck by lightning.

We know that there is a 1 in 630,000 chance of getting struck by lightning.

To find the chance of being struck by lightning percentage, we take:

1 / 630,000 = 0.000001587

0.000001587 * 100 = 0.0001587% chance of getting struck by lightning.

Your odds of getting struck by lightning twice are 1 in 396.9 billion.

We know that your chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 0.63m.

To find your chances of getting struck by lightning twice, we square that number.

(1 / 630,000) * (1 / 630,000) = 1 / 396,900,000,000

This means that your chances of getting struck by lightning twice are 1 in 396.9 billion.

Your odds of getting struck by lightning 3 times are 1 in 250.047 quadrillion.

We know that your chances of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 0.63m.

To find your chances of getting struck by lightning 3 times, we cube that number.

(1 / 630,000) * (1 / 630,000) * (1 / 630,000) = 1 / 250,047,000,000,000,000

This means that your chances of getting struck by lightning 3 times are 1 in 250.047 quadrillion.

Your chances of surviving a lightning strike are 93.55%.

We know that there are:

- ~310 people reportedly getting struck by lightning per year
- ~20 people who die from lightning strikes per year

20 / 310 = 0.064 x 100 = 6.45% of people die from lightning strikes.

That means that your chances of surviving a lightning strike are 93.55%.

~290 people survive lightning strikes per year.

We know that there are:

- ~310 people reportedly getting struck by lightning per year
- ~20 people who die from lightning strikes per year

This means that ~290 people survive lightning strikes per year.

Yes, men are 4 times more likely to get struck by lightning.

We know that there are ~310 people who get struck by lightning per year.

That means that ~248 men get struck by lightning per year.

And that ~62 women get struck by lightning per year.

Men are four times more likely than women to be struck by lightning.

Out of the total number of people struck by lightning:

- ~80% would be men
- ~20% would be women

To calculate the exact numbers:

- For men: 310 people * 80% = 248 people
- For women: 310 people * 20% = 62 people

The odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 0.63 million.

There were 194,549,696 lightning strikes that hit the ground last year.

But, there were only 310 people that reported getting struck by lightning.

You can die from getting struck by lightning, but you’re not certain to die.

93.5% of people who are struck by lightning survive.

~290 people survive lightning strikes per year.

We know that there are:

- ~310 people reportedly getting struck by lightning per year
- ~20 people who die from lightning strikes per year

This means that you have a 6.45% chance of dying from a lightning strike.

Most people survive a lightning strike and do not die.

Men are more likely to be struck by lightning because they often spend more time outdoors.

They engage in activities like fishing, camping, and sports.

These activities expose them to the risk of lightning.

Especially during peak lightning times like summer afternoons and evenings.

Men also tend to stay outside when a storm approaches, instead of seeking shelter.

This increases their chances of being struck by lightning.

Here are some straightforward steps to avoid getting struck by lightning:

**Watch the weather**: If a thunderstorm is predicted, plan your outdoor activities accordingly.**Seek shelter**: As soon as you hear thunder, go indoors. Buildings and enclosed vehicles offer good protection.**Stay away from windows**: Lightning can travel through windows. Stay inside until the storm has passed.**Avoid tall objects**: Lightning is attracted to the tallest object in an area. If you’re outside with no shelter, stay away from isolated trees or poles.**Don’t touch metal**: Avoid touching metal objects, including fences or poles, as they can conduct electricity.**Stay off the water**: Get out of pools, lakes, or oceans immediately if a storm is coming. Lightning can travel through water.**Avoid open fields**: Try not to be the tallest object in the area. If you’re in an open field, crouch down but do not lie flat on the ground.**Postpone activities**: If you can, postpone your outdoor activities until the storm has passed.**Listen to warnings**: Pay attention to weather alerts and warnings. They can give you valuable time to find shelter.**Use the 30-30 rule**: After seeing lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before reaching 30, go indoors. Stay inside for 30 minutes after hearing the last thunder.

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