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7 Surprising Facts From the U.S. State Department About American Deaths While Traveling Abroad

Remains of person (Photo: iStock)

Worried about safety traveling abroad? Here are the numbers on what actually kills Americans while overseas.

Weary travelers can relax—the world is not quite as dangerous as everyone thinks. According to numbers from the U.S. State Department last year, it’s pretty uncommon for Americans to die while abroad. Only 811 passed from non-natural causes.

Any nervous traveler can browse the report by date and country to get a fuller picture of the risks taken while heading out on vacation. Here are some of the most interesting statistics from last year.

1. Mexico is the most dangerous by far. Americans suffered 243 deaths, 88 of them by murder.

2. Thailand is the second most dangerous country for Americans, but the fatality number is drastically reduced: only 44 for all of 2014.

3. ISIS aside, the Middle East appears to be one of the safer places to visit. Afghanistan only had 12 deaths, and it was less everywhere else in the region. Ten of those Afghanistan deaths were at the hands of terrorism, but worldwide, the number of terror-related deaths was only 19.

4. Suicide abroad took 141 American lives in 2014, mainly in Mexico, Thailand and South Korea.

5. More than half of all Americans dying abroad come from drug overdoses—and mostly in Cambodia.

6. Drowning is kind of a big thing. In 2014, 105 Americans drowned while abroad in Cozumel and Rio Bravo in Mexico, Guanacaste in Costa Rica and the Greek islands.

7. The biggest cause of death for Americans abroad was transportation accidents: four train, 11 pedestrian-related, 53 motorcycle, nine bus, 141 car and 12 unclassified.

[Photo: iStock]

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8 Comments
A
AAJetMan November 3, 2015

@TM Oliver....EXactly right you are. Worthless article without per capita references.

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Palal May 29, 2015

Whoever wrote this post just knows how to copy+paste from the source and has no clue what statistics is or what to eat it with.... seriously? Why not just put a link to the source and don't bother with the "analysis"

B
big_mac May 28, 2015

I wonder what point 5 is supposed to say, as 'More than half of all Americans dying abroad come from drug overdoses' is obviously not remotely close to being true.

B
bricksoft May 28, 2015

Basing a list of most the dangerous countries in the world just on the number of Americans that die in a country is a very poor metric. Surely more Americans die in America than any other country, so should America be at the top of the list. It may even be a safer to emigrate to Mexico where only 243 Americans die a year. Deaths per 1000 tourist is a much better indicator.

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wolfie52 May 28, 2015

Exactly TM! Without know the RATE per visitor, and other factors, such as what type of activities those visitors engage in, these numbers are really meaningless. Learning how statistics can be misunderstood, or manipulated is crucial for a real understanding. Those like JW above simply have a bias when they read a story like this.