Note: For these and other findings, many explanations might account for the differences observed. We aim only to describe the differences and their statistical significance.
Shootings happen where people happen. The vast majority of Texas shootings (89%) occur in urban areas, but the vast majority of Texas people also live in urban areas (90%).
In urban areas, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as counties with 50,000 or more residents, and urban clusters, which have 2,500 to 49,999 residents, approximately 17 in every 1 million people were shot by police from September 2015 to May 2018. The differences between urban areas (16.6 shootings per million) and urban clusters (17.3 shootings per million) are small and not statistically significant.
Rural areas only had 3 shootings, but also only have about 30,000 total people (0.1% of the Texas population), giving a surprising 95 shootings per million population. Even with the small sample, this is statistically significantly higher than urban areas and clusters (p < .05). However, our statistical test assumes that every person shot in a county is a resident of that county – an assumption that is likely accurate in general, but any one case (or three) could be an aberration.