How LIkely Are You to Be a Victim of a Mass Murderer?


I doubt that many readers of H&R are worried, but the answer is: Not at all likely. Here's some of the latest data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The proportion of homicide incidents involving two victims has increased slightly from 2.7% in 1980 to 3.7% in 2008.

Homicide incidents involving three or more victims have also increased during this same period, but have remained less than 1% of all homicides each year.

For 2008 (the latest data available from BJS) the figures for all multiple victim homicides were:

- 3.7% involved two victims

- 0.5% involved three victims 

- 0.2% involved four victims

- 0.1% involved five or more victims.

In addition, overall U.S. homicide rates have been falling in recent years:

- The homicide rate doubled from the early 1960s to the late 1970s, increasing from 4.6 per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1962 to 9.7 per 100,000 by 1979.

- In 1980 the rate peaked at 10.2 per 100,000 and subsequently fell to 7.9 per 100,000 in 1984.

- The rate rose again in the late 1980s and early 1990s to another peak in 1991 of 9.8 per 100,000.

- The homicide rate declined sharply from 9.3 homicides per 100,000 in 1992 to 4.8 homicides per 100,000 in 2010.

Here's a chart of the longer term trend of the U.S. homicide rate:

Murder rate trend 1900 2010

That being said, condolences to the families and friends of the people murdered in Aurora and hope for the speedy and complete recovery of the wounded.