Large scale rioting in US in 2020?

Your submission is now in Draft mode. Once it's ready, please submit your draft for review by our team of Community Moderators. Thank you!


Incidents of civil unrest are not terribly uncommon in the United States, but large-scale rioting is quite rare. One of the most severe incidents in recent history was the 1992 Los Angeles riots, during which more than 60 people were killed, more than 2,350 people were injured, and more than 12,000 people were arrested. Property damage was estimated at more than $1bn.

As of 31 May 2020, major US cities have seen civil unrest after the 25 May death of George Floyd in a police encounter. The George Floyd protests are ongoing and some have involved violence. Moreover, much of the US is still under stay-at-home orders related to COVID-19 and unemployment is at record highs.

This question asks: Will the United States experience widespread rioting in 2020?

For the purposes of this question, 'large-scale rioting' is defined as an event of rioting or civil unrest in which any of the following conditions is met:

  1. At least 150 people die due to violence, either due to the actions of rioters or other civilians, or police, military, national guard, or other law enforcement or government agents.

  2. At least 30,000 people are arrested by police, military, national guard, or other law enforcement or government agents.

  3. Property damages are credibly estimated at $3 billion or more. This estimate may come from local governments in which the incidents take place, state governments, the federal government, or a major US news publication such as the New York Times, Washington Post, or major broadcast news networks.

Such events should take place in the US (for the purposes of this question, inclusive of all 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C.) and should occur within a 14 day period.

Resolution should cite a government statement or credible news reports that indicate that any of the above conditions have been met by an event of rioting.

Make a Prediction


Note: this question resolved before its original close time. All of your predictions came after the resolution, so you did not gain (or lose) any points for it.

Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

This question is not yet open for predictions.

Current points depend on your prediction, the community's prediction, and the result. Your total earned points are averaged over the lifetime of the question, so predict early to get as many points as possible! See the FAQ.

Metaculus help: Predicting

Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

The displayed score is split into current points and total points. Current points show how much your prediction is worth now, whereas total points show the combined worth of all of your predictions over the lifetime of the question. The scoring details are available on the FAQ.

Thanks for predicting!

Your prediction has been recorded anonymously.

Want to track your predictions, earn points, and hone your forecasting skills? Create an account today!

Track your predictions
Continue exploring the site