What are the Odds of Being Attacked by a Shark?

Although sharks rarely attack humans, it becomes a sensational news story when they do. In most cases, though, human beings are not part of a shark’s diet, and these animals typically choose to flee from humans rather than attack them. usually, shark bites do not kill their victims, so it is possible to survive an attack.

Since 1958, the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack File (ISAF) has kept track of all known shark attacks in order to collect data on shark behavior.

ISAF (International Shark Attack File) has gathered data from several sources covering the period from the mid-1500s to the present day. They conduct geographical analyses, reveal trends, and publish statistics regarding the evolution of shark attacks globally.

One’s odds of being killed by a shark are approximately 1 in 3,748,067—or 0.000026 percent. There are 18 causes of death more likely to kill you during your lifetime than the ocean’s predator. [1]

The following table shows your odds of dying from various causes compared to shark attacks:

Cause of Death Odds
Heart Disease 1 in 5
Cancer 1 in 7
Stroke 1 in 24
Hospital Infections 1 in 38
Flu 1 in 63
Car Accidents 1 in 84
Suicide 1 in 119
Accidental Poisoning 1 in 193
Falls 1 in 197
Drowning 1 in 218
Bike Accident 1 in 1,134
Air/Space Accident 1 in 4,919
Excessive Cold 1 in 5,051
Sun/heat Exposure 1 in 13,729
Lightning 1 in 79,746
Train Crash 1 in 156,169
Fireworks 1 in 340,733
Shark Attack 1 in 3,748,067

The odds of dying from a shark attack are far less than the odds of dying from other causes. For example, death by a lightning strike is 47 times more likely than death by a shark attack.

Most Shark Attacks in the World

Most Shark Attacks in the World

In Australia, the world’s most dangerous animals dwell. Margaret River, home to great white sharks, is located in Western Australia. However, it doesn’t hold the record for most shark attacks worldwide. That is New Smyrna Beach in Florida, which holds this record. And interestingly, it is not as dangerous as areas of Australia.

Statistics show that there is a 1 in 3.7 million chance of dying from an unprovoked shark attack if you live within 100 miles of a coast. For those who live far away from coasts, the chances are 1 in 7 million. [2]

Interesting Shark Attack Statistics

Blood red sea wave

  • A 25% decrease in the number of shark attacks worldwide was reported in 2018. [3]
  • The United States has recorded the highest number of shark attacks among all countries. [4]
  • The state of Florida had more shark attacks than any other state, with over half of the recorded US shark attacks having occurred there. [4]
  • Statistics show that more people have died taking selfies than have been killed by sharks. [5]
  • White sharks are the most commonly documented species to bite humans.
  • On average, 100 million sharks are killed each year worldwide. [6]
  • The finning and overfishing of sharks are causing these animals to become endangered. [7]
  • Australia is second only to the United States in the number of shark attacks reported worldwide. [8]
  • The highest incidence of shark attacks occurs in September, according to statistics. [9]
  • 61% of shark attacks occur while people are engaged in board sports or surfing. [10]


  1. What are the odds of a shark attack? Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from http://dev.thewildlifemuseum.org/exhibits/sharks/odds-of-a-shark-attack/
  2. Annual Risk Of Death During One’s Lifetime, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks/odds/compare-risk/death/
  3. Australian Associated Press (30 Jan 2019), Shark attacks around world fell by about one-quarter in 2018, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/31/shark-attacks-around-world-fell-by-about-one-quarter-in-2018
  4. Gavin Naylor, Ph.D., Tyler Bowling, Yearly Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks/yearly-worldwide-summary/
  5. Jane Ridley (February 14, 2020), More people die taking selfies than in shark attacks, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://nypost.com/2020/02/14/more-people-die-taking-selfies-than-in-shark-attacks-survey/
  6. How Many Sharks Are Killed Per Year?, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.americanoceans.org/facts/sharks-killed-per-year
  7. Alister Doyle (MARCH 2, 2013), Shark overfishing pushes many species to the brink, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sharks/shark-overfishing-pushes-many-species-to-the-brink-idUSBRE9200XK20130301
  8. World Locations with Highest Attack Rates, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks/trends/location/world/
  9. How, Where & When Sharks Attack, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks/odds/how-where-when/
  10. Yearly Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/shark-attacks/yearly-worldwide-summary/
  11. Ljubica Cvetkovska (February 18, 2022), 42 Shark Attack Statistics to Ease Your Mind, Retrieved 09 Septmeber, 2022, from https://petpedia.co/shark-attack-statistics/