National Crisis: Study Says Blacks Are 50 Percent of U.S Homicide Victims

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 21:  Children watch from a vacant lot as an anti-violence march makes its way through the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on June 21, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. There have been more than 27 homicides in Chicago during the first three weeks of June. More than 150 people have been shot and wounded in the city during the same period.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

National Crisis: Study Says Blacks Are 50 Percent of U.S Homicide Victims

African-Americans were 50 percent of homicide victims in the U.S. in 2011, according to a study released by the Violence Policy Center.

Published January 27, 2014

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. 

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Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege.

(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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