Black Americans are 13 percent of the U.S. population, but made up 50 percent of the homicide victims in the nation in 2011, according to a recent study by the Violence Policy Center. The report makes a call for policymakers to place the disproportionate deaths among Blacks at the front line of issues that need to be addressed.
Overall Blacks were about seven times more likely to be victims of homicide. The Black homicide rate was 17.51 per 100,000, while for whites the national homicide rate was 2.64 per 100,000. Black men made up 86 percent of Black homicide deaths compared to 14 percent of Black females. The average age of a victim is 30 years old.
The states with the highest Black homicide victimization rate include Nebraska, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. In Nebraska, the Black homicide rate was 34.43 per 100,000 in 2011. In Missouri, the rate was 33.38 per 100,000. In Michigan, the rate was 31.54 per 100,000.
In cases when the cause of death could be identified, 86 percent of the homicide victims died due to gun violence. This followed by knives and cutting instruments, bodily force and blunt objects. And when the circumstances could be identified 73 percent of Black victims knew the person who murdered them.
The report urges for more focus to be put on reducing access and exposure to firearms in the future in an effort to end the epidemic.
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege.
(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)