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Shark attacks: How common are they?

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Posted at 4:02 PM, Jun 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-17 16:41:13-04

After two recent shark attacks in North Carolina and one in Florida, beach goers may be concerned that they're at risk when enjoying a summer swim.

How rare are shark attacks? It depends where you live. The shark attack capital of the United States is Florida, with more than 700 reported since 1837, according to the University of Florida.

With 1,100 attacks overall, that's an average of about six each year nationwide.

Unprovoked Shark Attacks in the U.S. (1837-2014) | FindTheHome

Even with a shark bite, the likelihood of dying is low. In nearly 180 years of record keeping, 35 people died from a shark attack in the United States.

Unprovoked Shark Attack Fatalities By State (1837-2014) | FindTheHome

Gavin Stern is a national digital producer for the Scripps National Desk.