Skydiving Statistics

Skydiving is getting safer and safer every year in the US. The most recent data from the United States Parachute Association (USPA) shows that the number of fatalities per 1,000 jumps is at its lowest rate yet, at just 0.006 (in 2015). That’s half as many fatalities as there were back in the 1970s and testament to the great leaps that have been made in terms of skydiving technology and processes.

Skydiving is inherently a sport with risks. You are, after all, jumping out of an airplane. There’s always going to be a degree of risk involved, just as there is with any sport or even day to day activities like driving a car or crossing the road.

What’s making skydiving safer is the skydiving community’s ongoing commitment to mitigating risk. We do this through the technological advances in our equipment, the training we undertake and the process we put in place to keep ourselves, and others, safe. Let’s take a look at skydiving safety statistics, how they compare and why skydiving continues to attract thousands of new jumpers every year.

tandem skydive at skydive california

Skydiving Safety: fatalities and injuries

The USPA – United States Parachute Association – is the advisory body for the sport of skydiving here in the USA. Skydiving centers are not required to be members of the USPA, but the majority choose to be for the guidelines and regulations it provides.

uspa united states parachute association logo

The USPA keeps records of the number of fatalities and injuries amongst its members, of which there are more than 35,000 (which include tandem skydivers, professionals and hobby jumpers) across 230 affiliated skydiving centers.

The first-ever record of skydiving fatalities in 1961 showed an average of 3.65 fatalities per 1,000 skydives. As the years have passed and advances have been made, that number has reduced to just 0.006 fatalities per thousand in 2015.

Injuries are more common than fatalities in skydiving, but still far less common than you might think. The bottom line is that we’re jumping from an aircraft and falling at speeds of around 120mph through the air before deploying our parachutes and coming into land. It’s to be expected that every now and again, things don’t go entirely to plan. Often, this is through people simply trying something more advanced than their current skills allow. Other times, it’s as simple as somebody landing on an ankle in slightly the wrong way or even tripping over as they run off their speed.

In 2015, there were 1,920 injuries requiring medical care out of 3.5 million jumps, or one injury per 1,806 skydives, according to the USPA safety records.

Skydiving safety statistics; how do they compare?

Given the safety stats laid out here, hopefully, you’ll agree that it’s quite unfair for skydiving to be perceived as a ‘risky’ sport.

In fact, there are many other activities you could undertake which are statistically much less safe, including (according to the National Safety Council):

Motor vehicle crash Stats

The chances of a fatality through a motor collision is 1 in 114.

Choking on your food Risks

Careful if you’re eating while reading this! Your chances of choking on that delicious bite are 1 in 3,461.

Bicycle Accident Statistics

They’re a much more environmentally friendly form of transport than the car, but bicycles aren’t without their risk. One in 4,486 people dying in a bike-related incident.

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Hornets, Wasps and Bees Stats

These little guys are responsible for pollinating our plants and keeping our world looking and smelling great. But 1 in 63,225 people will die from contact with a hornet, wasp or bee.

Dog bite/attack Statistics

Man’s best friend isn’t always so friendly. The chances of being killed by a dog bite or attack are 1 in 112,400.

Lightning strike Statistics

A lightning strike is extremely rare – so much so that you can have a better chance of winning the lottery! The chances of a lightning strike taking you down are 1 in 161,856.

Skydiving Statistics

At a rate of 0.006 skydives fatalities per 1,000, that’s 1 fatality in every 167,000 jumps. This means it’s more likely you’ll die from a lightning strike, dog bite, wasp sting, bike accident, choking or a motor vehicle crash.

How skydiving safety improves

Safety will always be a hugely important consideration for skydivers. Even as our safety records continue to improve, we refuse to rest on our laurels.

Since the early days of skydiving, there have been some massive advances in technology, equipment, training, and processes.

For example, today’s skydiver always jumps with two parachutes – a main and a reserve. This means there is always a ‘spare’ should the main parachute fail to deploy correctly. The malfunctioning parachute is released by the ‘3 ring release system’, pioneered by Bill Booth in the 1970s.

We use a device called an AAD (automatic activation device). It sits in our parachute container and monitors our rate of descent and altitude. In the unlikely event, we are unable to deploy our own parachute, the AAD will detect our speed and deploy the reserve parachute for us.

skydiving aad cypres

It’s not just technology that makes us safer; improvements in processes help us keep track of our own equipment. The USPA even promotes a yearly ‘safety day’ for all skydivers to attend. This ensures their knowledge of safety considerations is up to date.

Skydiving is an incredible experience. Don’t let your fears hold you back; book your tandem skydive today, or feel free to contact a member of our team with any questions.

Percentage of Redheads by Country 2022

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Among the various hair colors of the world, black and brown are the most mainstream, blonde is less common but still widespread, and red is the rarest of all. However, it is also one of the most widely discussed. Here is a look at the percentage of redheads by country, and where this particular hair color is comparably more prevalent.

Ireland: The Emerald Isle and Home of the Red Heads

With more red-headed residents than anyone else in the world, Ireland is the king of people with red hair. The latest estimates suggest that about 10% of Ireland’s population are redheads. Considering that in most places across the globe, redheads make up less than one percent of the population, Ireland’s abundance of redheads is even more astonishing.

Scotland: Where the Scots See Red

One of the few other places on earth that can remotely rival the population of redheads in Ireland is Scotland. Much like their Irish counterparts, this part of the world is recognized as the most prominent area on the planet for redheads. Estimates suggest that the percentage of redheads in Scotland is roughly 6%.

Not unlike Ireland, in light of the average number of redheads around the globe, these are also eye-popping numbers. This also explains why we so often assume that people with red hair must be of some Irish or Scottish origin.

Great Britain

Among the countries with the highest percentage of redheads, Great Britain has long been recognized as a place with its share of redheads. While the numbers and percentages don’t quite put Great Britain in the realm of Ireland and Scotland, it remains one of the more highly populated countries regarding its number of redheads.

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Conflicting Numbers

Although it is without argument that the two most highly redhead populated countries are Ireland and Scotland, there is some conflicting data to the numbers. Some estimates have cited the population of redheads in Scotland to account for nearly 13% of the country’s population total.

Based on those figures, it would obviously put Scotland at the top of the hill when it comes to being king of the redheads.

The Other Redheaded Populations

Although the Jewish people have been displaced over the years, it is still guesstimated that around 10% of Jewish men have red hair or beards. Additionally, the people of Poland at one time had a redheaded population of approximately 5%.

Redheads are the obvious minority in the arena of common hair color, but in some parts of the world, they fit right in.

In Western Europe

About 6% of the Scottish population has red hair. The Irish red-hair population beats that at about 10% of the people living there. That establishes Ireland as the most red-haired country in Western Europe.

England also has a significant number of people in it with red hair: 4% of its total inhabitants. To celebrate, it hosted its first Ginger Pride celebration in 2013. More than 1,600 people participated in this Redhead Day Festival that took place in Breda, a Netherlands city.

France also may have some redheads, which reportedly has the highest European Jew population as of 2019. If they’re Ashkenazi Jews, about 3.6% of the women have red hair, and 10% of Jewish men have red beards. Other reports indicate that the country may have a 5% redhead ratio overall.

In African Countries

In Africa, most people with red hair live in Morocco and Algeria. Also, some Riffians in Morocco and Kabyles in Algeria have red hair.

Lalla Salma, Morocco’s Queen, names one famous person from this region who has red hair, by the way. Salma reportedly met a man at a party in 1999 and married him three years later. She never anticipated that he would end up becoming Africa’s king.

In The Middle East

Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria have a higher percentage of redheads than the rest of Asia. They may have emigrated from Europe though. Red hair in this region, however, remains rare as opposed to people with dark hair. However, reddish-brown coloring is found, but some of that might be from using dyes.

United States Redheads

This country reportedly has up to 18 million redheads as of 2018. The percentage typically ranges from approximately 2%-6%, and it apparently has the largest ginger population in the world. You have to remember, however, most of them probably have European descendants.

Additional Redhead Sightings

Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group, has a high concentration of red-haired people. Normally, you wouldn’t see people with brown or black skin having read hair. However, tiny number of Polynesians people, such as ones from Papua New Guinea, have reddish-brown highlights.

Russia seems to have a reputation of having large quantities of people with red hair. That’s at least true amongst the Udmurt people, who reside in the Volga Region.

Other places in Asia and Europe may have it, such as Italy or China, but it probably exists at less than one percent. In North America, more redheads most likely would exist in Canada versus Mexico.

Number of Skydiving Deaths Per Year

If you’ve found your way here plugging “skydiving deaths per year” in every search engine you can find, it’s likely someone you love has just broken the news that they are going to make a tandem skydive. Perhaps, you’ve been gifted a skydive for your birthday or Christmas and are wondering exactly what you’ll be getting into. Your mind is probably racing a mile a minute wondering how they (or you) could do something so dangerous! And ultimately, you keep coming back to the same question: “how likely is it to die from skydiving?”

Skydiving deaths are very rare since modern equipment and training have made it safe

While your concern is entirely valid—it is skydiving after all—we think you will be pleasantly surprised to learn skydiving isn’t quite as dangerous as you might imagine. And skydiving deaths are far from frequent. In fact, skydiving deaths rarely occur. We won’t ask you to believe us without seeing the facts. We will go into the skydiving fatality statistics, so you can determine for yourself if the experience of a lifetime is worth the risk.

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How Likely Is It To Die From Skydiving?

The most recent data gathered by the United States Parachute Association indicates that in 2019 out of the 3.3 million skydives completed around the U.S., 15 resulted in a skydiving death. While we would like to see this number at 0, the statistics do show that—continually over time as skydiving equipment, technology, and training programs have improved—the number of skydiving fatalities has steadily declined.

Tandem skydiving statistically has better odds, with one skydiving fatality for every 500,000 tandem jumps. Mathematically speaking, this makes the odds of a tandem skydiving death 0.0002%.

Woman smiles while making a safe tandem skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

What Causes Skydiving Deaths?

What the statistics don’t show are the events that led up to those skydiving deaths. Many imagine that the circumstances surrounding these skydiving deaths deals with malfunctioning equipment, but this is not the case. The majority of fatalities today involve highly experienced skydivers who have made a choice to push boundaries by flying extremely high-performance wings. These canopy pilots use advanced maneuvers and small parachutes to reach speeds of up to 70 mph across the ground. These maneuvers and the use of such small parachutes leave a small margin for error and increases the overall risk they take. The majority of the skydiving fatalities that we see today come from canopy pilot error.

How Safe Is Skydiving?

Bo gives a thumbs up before a safe skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

At Wisconsin Skydiving Center safety is our top priority. To ensure our customers have a fun and safe skydiving experience, we keep high standards. We hire only the best most vetted instructors in the industry; therefore, every instructor we employ has met the rigorous standards established by the United States Parachute Association. Our commitment to safety extends to our aircraft and skydiving equipment as well; every part is compliant with regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Is The Risk Worth It?

The simple fact is nothing is without risk. Take driving a car for example. According to the National Safety Council, in the U.S. alone, an estimated 38,800 people were killed and/or fatally injured in automobile accidents in 2019. Yet, no one bats an eye as they climb behind the wheel for their daily commute or weekly trip to the grocery store. This is because, deep down, we understand every action we take has some inherent risk. The goal is to take risks that are worth it.

With over 3 million skydives made each year, we think it’s safe to say that for many the risk is decidedly worth it. What makes skydiving worth the risk you wonder? Skydiving isn’t just an adrenaline rush, far from it. Sure, skydiving is thrilling, but for many, it is so much more. Skydiving affords people an opportunity to face their fear and step outside of their comfort zone. Like a butterfly shedding the chrysalis and spreading its wings for the first time, many people find skydiving to be a truly transformative event. For some, it’s just that looking out onto the world from the heights they reach really puts everything else into perspective. Only you can decide if this adventure is worth the risk.

Girl finishing a tandem skydive at Wisconsin Skydiving Center near Chicago

At Wisconsin Skydiving Center, we do all that we can to provide a skydiving environment that is as safe as it is fun. If you want any more information on the safety measures we take, please feel free to contact us.




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