Snake bite statistics might be a bit scary, but they’re crucial to keeping yourself safe.

If you love to combine traveling with nature exploration, you should know which creatures to expect and what to do when you meet them.

To help you out, we’ve compiled all the necessary information on snakes. Let’s dive right in.

Little Known Snake Bite Facts

  • Venomous snakes bite 7,000–8,000 people in the US every year. 
  • 28% of those bitten by a snake are intoxicated.
  • In 2018, North Carolina had the most snake bites.
  • In 2020, Texas poison centers had a 54% increase in snake calls.
  • About 5.4 million snakebites occur every year worldwide.
  • On average, five Americans die from a snake bite every year. 
  • Honey bee stings and lightning strikes kill 20 times more people annually than all the rattlesnake bites combined.

Snake Bite Statistics in the US

Many snake bite incidents happen in the US every year, but it’s not as bad as other places globally. Let’s see what your chances of a snake bite in the US are like. 

1. Venomous Snakes Bite 7,000–8,000 People in the US Every Year.

(Source: Outside Online)

  • 57% of snake bites happened to people handling the snake
  • 85% of bites are to the hands and fingers.
  • Only 13% of bites occur on the legs or feet. Also, it’s very rare for a snake to bite above the ankle. 

But that’s not all. Let’s check out more snake bite facts.

2. 28% Of Those Bitten by a Snake Were Intoxicated. 

(Source: Outside Online)

  • Generally, we don’t recommend handling a snake, especially if you’re impaired. Intoxicated people have a very slow reaction time. 
  • 55% of bites are to males between the ages of 17–27.
  • On average, five Americans die from a snake bite every year. 

Let’s delve deeper into the snake bites per state. 

Up close snake looking into the camera with tongue sticking out

Snake Bite Statistics by State

One way to avoid snake bites is to know where they occur more frequently. 

3. In 2018, North Carolina Had the Most Snake Bites.

(Source: CBS)

  • Wake County, the most human-populated area in North Carolina, has the most bites — over 100 every year. The large snake population puts the county at greater risk.
  • More people are moving into high snake population areas in Wake County. As a result, there are higher bite rates, particularly from August to October. Copperhead snakes are born during this time and contribute the most to snake bites in the area. 
  • The most poisonous snake in the US is the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. It has a 30% mortality rate. Also, it’s the largest venomous snake in North America with one of the most dangerous bites.

But what are some more recent stats?

4. In 2020, Texas Poison Centers Had a 54% Increase in Snake Calls.

(Source: ABC News)

  • The 2020 rise in cases is due to more people venturing outdoors for fun activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Up to 80% of pups will survive a snakebite if they receive care. For those living in an open area, it’s best to have a dog GPS tracker. That way, you’ll find your pet quicker if it’s in danger.
  • Rattlesnake bite statistics show that between 10%–44% of these bites suffer permanent damage.
  • In early June 2020, the Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, had 15 snake bites. Snakes always come out at the beginning of summer, and they started the season strong.

If you think that’s bad, it’s not even close to the worst.

Sideways snake head looking into the camera with tongue sticking out

Snake Bite Death Statistics Worldwide

Snake bites are incredibly common in some places. But some of them don’t have medical facilities like in the US, resulting in much higher fatality rates. 

5. There Are About 5.4 Million Snakebites Worldwide Every Year.

(Source: WHO)

  • Out of those, 2.7 million involve envenoming. 
  • Sadly, between 81,000 to 138,000 people die from a snake bite annually. 
  • Also, there are about 400,000 amputations due to snake bites. 

Let’s take a closer look at the specifics, starting with the snake deaths in India.

6. Between 2000–2019, There Were 1.2 Million Snake Bites Deaths in India.

(Source: eLife 2020)

  • That’s an average of about 58,000 deaths per year
  • 70% of the bites occurred in eight higher burden states—Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. 
  • Unfortunately, higher burden states may not have the medical facilities to deal with such incidents. The chance of dying from a snake bite in India before 70 is 1 in 250. That’s huge. 

But they’re not alone. Let’s check the snake bite death statistics in Africa. 

7. Africa Has Around 1.5 Million Snake Bites Annually. 

(Source: Canadian Medical Association)

  • The continent is home to over 400 snake species, 30 of which are venomous. 
  • They cause between 7,000–32,000 deaths per year in Africa.
  • About 95% of snakebites occur in rural Africa. But the death rate is high for many reasons that are out of the patients’ control.

Access to antivenom in rural countries is a massive problem recognized by the WHO as a neglected tropical disease. Let’s explore what this means.

8. 20,000 People Die From a Snake Bite Every Year in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

(Source: Mosaic Science) 

  • Snake bite statistics reveal there’s only about 50% of the needed antivenom worldwide. Unfortunately, places where the most deadly snake bites occur lack money for the expensive drugs. So these areas can’t make or even distribute antivenom.
  • There is no antivenom for 40% of the world’s snake species. Snake bite deaths by country show that even if you get bitten, you have no guarantee of available antivenom. 
  • Making antivenom is a grueling process. The snakes are milked for venom extraction, and then small amounts are injected into a horse or sheep. After that, specialists take the antibodies from the animals’ blood and turn them into antivenom. This process has been around for over 120 years.

So, snake bites aren’t the only issue. Not everyone has access to adequate medical care, so it’s no surprise that some have a horrific fear of these reptiles.

Clear syringe on a white table

Fear of Snakes Statistics

It turns out that ophidiophobia, or snake phobia, is pretty common.

9. One-Third of Adults Have a Snake Phobia.

(Source: FearOf) 

  • The fear has been linked to an evolutionary response. Thanks to medical advancements, you have a very slim chance of dying from a snake bite in the US. Despite that, phobia numbers aren’t decreasing. 
  • Compared to the 7,000–8,000 venomous snake bites, 4.5 million dog bites occur in the US annually. Honey bee stings (62 per year) and lightning strikes (35 per year) kill 20 times more people than all rattlesnake bites combined. 
  • Between 1988–2001, snakes took first place for the biggest fear. As of 2019, people fear spiders the most, but snakes remain a close second.

While some people might feel relieved with these stats, snakes are under serious threat. 

Snake Bite Statistics — Endangered Species 

While terrifying, snakes provide a lot to ecosystems worldwide, and we need them.

10. 12% Of Snake Species Are Threatened by Extinction.

(Source: Save the Snake) 

  • 97 snake species are endangered. 
  • The leading cause is humans destroying reptiles’ natural habitat. Nearly all seven species of sea turtle are endangered.
  • The largest snake species is already extinct. The Titanoboa was on the planet 60 million years ago, and it grew to 42.7 feet. Its average weight was over one ton. Today, we can only compare it to the Anaconda and Boa. 

Wrap Up

Ssso, snake bite statistics can be a bit scary. After all, any venomous creature is intimidating to most people. 

While snakes can be dangerous, it’s usually if they’re tormented and mishandled. We’re far more threatening to them than they are to us. 

Unfortunately, as humans take up more of their natural habitats, these reptiles come closer to extinction. We need to find more ways to keep all our species alive.

FAQ

What percentage of snakes are venomous?

20% of the worldwide snake population is venomous. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they can kill. Snake bite statistics show that only about 7% of them can kill a human with a bite. So, based on the reptiles’ population stats, that’s about 231 snakes out of 6,300.

How do I avoid a snake bite?

If you’re outdoors and can’t see where you’re walking, hiking boots and long pants are a must. Don’t ever go off the trail when walking. And if you do spot a snake, don’t pick it up. Surprise attacks often happen when people think the snake is dead and pick it up.

Which snake ranks as the most dangerous to humans in the Americas?

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is the most deadly for humans in the US. But it’s only number 23 on the worldwide list. Snake bite statistics show the most deadly snake globally is the Western Taipan. It’s native to Australia, and one venom drop can kill 100 humans.

  1. Outside Online
  2. CBS
  3. ABC News
  4. WHO
  5. eLife 2020
  6. Canadian Medical Association
  7. Mosaic Science
  8. FearOf
  9. Save the Snake
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Emma is a lover of all animals. Her cat Pumpkin enjoys stretching out in the office while mom researches the best information on how to care for their fellow furry friends. Emma’s passion for animals started at a young age. Back then, she dedicated her time to shelters and vet clinics in South Africa. Her enthusiasm for writing and research is behind the most reliable information for pet lovers. She believes in treating animals with the devotion and respect they deserve.