2023 Skydiving Death Statistics — 16 Facts to Make Your Jaw Dive

If you’re feeling a little bit of extra adrenaline lately, read our skydiving death statistics and you might reconsider this extreme sport.

Join us as we explore historical data on skydivers’ death rates and the current state of the sport in the US and worldwide.

Choose kindness.

You never know what battles people may be fighting.

What Is the Fatality Rate of Skydiving?

  • There were 3.9 million skydiving jumps in the US alone last year.
  • Eight people died while skydiving because of the landing issues in 2022.
  • In the last 20 years, there were 439 skydiving-related deaths.
  • Tandem jumps are approximately 2.5x safer than solo jumps.
  • The fatality rate for experienced skydivers in the UK is one per 100,000 jumps.

Historical Skydiving Death Statistics

Let’s explore the past before we overview the latest statistics on the death rate of skydiving.

1. The USPA started keeping records of skydiving fatalities in 1961.

There were only 14 skydiving deaths confirmed that same year. The number will spike in the following decades, reaching its peak in the 1970s. The number of fatalities in this decade was rarely under 50.

2. From 1993 to 1999, 241 people died while skydiving.

The USPA disclosed that approximately 300,000 divers made around 3.25 million recreational jumps yearly in this time range. Incorrect procedures were the most common cause of death — 31% of fatalities came as a result of this. Here’s the complete overview of each category:

CategoryNumber of FatalitiesPercentage
Incorrect procedures7531
Landing6427
Midair collision3615
No pull/low pull2611
Correct procedures125
Gear failure73
Flight 73
Collapse62
Medical62
Incorrect gear21
Total241100%

3. There were 33 deaths by skydiving in 2002 — 0.0013% out of all jumps that year in the US.

Approximately 2.6 million jumps were recorded that year in the US. As we’ll show later, that’s a significantly lower death rate than in the past years. While the number of jumps increased, the number of accidents lowered!

Over the same period, there were an estimated 63.37 million jumps. Take a look at the following table to see deaths from skydiving per year and how the numbers changed with time:

YearUS Skydiving FatalitiesNumber of Annual JumpsFatalities per 100,000 Jumps
2022203.9 million0.51
2021103.57 million0.28
2020112.8 million0.39
2019153.3 million0.45
2018133.3 million0.39
2017243.2 million0.75
2016213.2 million0.66
2015213.5 million0.60
2014243.2 million0.75
2013243.2 million0.75
2012193.1 million0.61
2011253.1 million0.81
2010213.0 million0.70
2009163.0 million0.53
2008302.6 million1.15
2007182.5 million0.72
2006212.5 million0.84
2005272.6 million1.04
2004212.6 million0.81
2003252.6 million0.96
2002332.6 million1.27
2001352.6 million1.35
2000322.7 million1.19
Total50669.97 million0.76

Choose kindness.

You never know what battles people may be fighting.

How Safe Is Skydiving in the US Today?

In the next section, we will explore the reality of skydiving fatalities in the US at the moment. While every death is one too many, the data shows that this extreme sport is actually safer today than it ever was. 

5. There were 3.9 million skydiving jumps in the US last year.

Out of those 3.9 million, 20 were, unfortunately, fatalities. While further work should be done on safety to put an end to any accidents, the odds of a person dying are very slim nowadays. The death rate of skydiving last year was 0.0000051% — or 0.51 per 100,000.

6. All the jumps last year were made by only 42,491 members of the skydiving community.

This means that each member averaged 92 jumps in 2022. Interestingly, there are only 208 USPA-affiliated centers in the US that host these 40k+ members.

7. Eight people died while skydiving because of landing issues in 2022.

Landing was the most common cause of death for skydivers last year — 40% of all fatalities were assigned to this issue.

Incorrect emergency procedures, equipment problems, and non-turn-related accidents took two lives each over the same period.

8. Surprisingly, 50% of people who died while skydiving in 2022 held a D-license — the most advanced certification.

This means that half of all fatalities — ten people — had the highest qualifications. Five students were tragic victims of skydiving accidents last year, which makes it 25% of all deaths. Here’s how qualified were other victims:

LicenseNumber of Fatalities%
Student525%
A15%
B210%
C210%
D1050%
All20100%

9. Death occurs in one in 500,000 tandem jumps, per tandem skydiving death statistics.

This makes tandem jumps 2.5 times safer for people than solo jumps. Statistically, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning than dying in any type of skydiving accident.

10. Indoor skydiving death statistics show a single fatality so far.

Indoor skydiving is considered very safe — a lot safer than even its outdoor counterpart. Only one death was recorded in these conditions, and even that was caused by preexisting conditions.

Skydiving Death Statistics Worldwide

Venturing beyond borders, this section digs into the global statistics on the death rate of skydiving.

11. A total of 519,620 skydiving licenses were issued in the 2010–2019 period in France.

Of these over half a million licenses, 69% were for men. Similarly, there were disparities between experience levels: 67% of licenses were for tandem jumpers, 27.9% were for experienced jumpers, and 5.1% were for student jumpers.

12. There were 35 fatalities during that period.

This equals 0.57 deaths per 100,000 jumps.

No deaths involved tandem jumps, but an astonishing 82.9% of the deceased were in an experienced category. A large majority — 91.4% — were men.

13. The UK’s tandem jump death rate is 0.11 per 100,000 dives since 1990.

There were no fatalities of this type in the UK in the last two decades, though. The injury rate, on the other hand, is one per 1,400 jumps.

When it comes to gender, one woman gets injured per 1,200 jumps. The numbers are similar with men — one per 1,600.

14. The fatality rate for experienced skydivers in the UK is one per 100,000 jumps.

Novice jumpers are less lucky — 2–4 deaths/100,000 jumps. Injuries are also more common with newbies, with a rate that averages about four injuries per 1,000 jumps. A fully trained skydiver is less likely to get injured, so their injury rates are 0.3 per 100,000 dives.

15. One in 148,000 jumps ends fatally in Canada.

Tandem deaths are the rare ones — before an accident in 2021 where both the instructor and the student tragically died, there were only two tandem fatalities in over 30 years.

There are a total of 30,000 certified skydivers in Canada at the moment, with 25 dropzones.

How Skydiving Affects Your Life Insurance Rate

Unfortunately, if you’re worried about the impact of skydiving on your life insurance rate, your worry is well-placed. Most companies consider skydiving a high-risk activity.

16. Skydiving, even once a year, can result in higher life insurance premiums (by $2–$5 per thousand dollars of coverage!)

Despite what the skydiving death statistics show — that skydiving is a fairly low-risk activity, insurance companies still regard it as a high mortality-risk activity.

This can drive rates up by tens of dollars (per $1,000 of coverage) for regular jumpers. Plus, they will likely also be ineligible for an accidental death benefit rider.

Choose kindness.

You never know what battles people may be fighting.

Conclusion

The data we’ve presented highlights the importance of ongoing safety measures, training improvements, and global collaboration. The numbers are getting lower each year, but it doesn’t mean we should stop with the progress we’ve made so far.

If you’re considering trying out this extreme sport, it’s best to do it with an instructor, as tandem jump death rates are the lowest. Good luck and stay safe!

Article Sources
  1. United States Parachute Association. How Safe Is Skydiving?
  2. The Skydiving Company. The Truth About Skydiving Safety
  3. Statista. Statista
  4. Skydiving Planet. Is Indoor Skydiving Safe?
  5. Skydive Perris. Odds of Dying Skydiving