Murder

African Americans Are Eight Times More Likely to Be Victims of Homicide Than Whites, Says CDC

The murder rate fell from 9.8 per 100,000 residents in 1991 to 4.5 in 2014; it's estimated at 5.3 for 2016.

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ChicagoMurderSceneArmandoLSanchez/TNS/Newscom
Armando L. Sanchez/TNS/Newscom

Black Americans are eight times more likely than white Americans to be the victims of a homicide. That's just one of the less-than-cheery bit of news the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reveals in "Age-Adjusted Rates for Homicides by Race/Ethnicity—United States, 1999-2015," where it notes:

During 1999–2014, a general decline in homicide trends for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic populations occurred, followed by a significant increase in the rates for all three groups between 2014 and 2015. In 2015, homicide rates were 5.7 deaths per 100,000 for the total population, 20.9 for non-Hispanic blacks, 4.9 for Hispanics, and 2.6 for non-Hispanic whites.

The good news is that U.S. homicide rates declined steeply over the past three decades. As the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports, the homicide rate increased from 4.6 per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1962 to 10.2 per 100,000 in 1980. The rate then fell to 7.9 per 100,000 in 1984, rose again to another peak in 1991 at 9.8 per 100,000, and then started plunging back down. It reached a nadir of 4.5 per 100,000 in 2014 before rising back to 5.7.

How does the U.S. fare in comparison with other countries? Our Southern neighbors are for the most part doing much worse than we are. The homicide rate in Venezuela is now estimated at 90 per 100,000 citizens; the rate in El Salvador fell from 103.1 in 2015 to 80.9 per 100,000 last year; the rate in Honduras has dropped from 86.5 in 2011 to 60 per 100,000 in 2015. Mexico's 2016 murder rate, at 16 per 100,000, is comparatively low, but murders there surged to over 2,000 in May, the highest for any month in the last two decades.

On the other hand, Canada's 2015 homicide rate was just 1.7 per 100,000 residents. The average in the European Union hovers around 1 per 100,000 residents. The World Bank calculates that the global murder rate is about 5.3 per 100,000 Earthlings.

While homicide victimization rates fell among blacks and Hispanics fell during the past three decades, they have remained persistently higher than the rate for whites. At the 1991 peak, black Americans were murdered at a rate of 39.3 per 100,000; the Hispanic toll stood at 6 per 100,000; the white rate was 5.5 per 100,000. As the CDC data show, the murder rates for both black and white residents have essentially been cut in half, whereas the Hispanic rate is only about 20 percent lower. As a result of the differential in dropping murder rates, the gap between black and white homicide victimization rates fell more than 50 percent.

Why are homicide victimization rates so much higher in the African-American community? The University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld addressed the question in a 2016 study of murder rates in several big cities. He considered three possible explanations, which are not mutually exclusive: an expansion of urban drug markets fueled by the heroin trade; a greater number of prisoners being released into the nation's cities; and a "Ferguson effect" in which the police respond to protests by de-policing. Rosenfeld concluded that the data that might underpin any of these hypotheses were inconclusive.

How can we get back on the track toward falling murder rates? One good first step would be to end the drug war, as my colleague Eric Boehm has suggested. That would eliminate at least some of the violence associated with the black market for drugs, which may account for as much as 25 percent of all homicides.

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  1. Racist!

    1. What percentage of the blacks killed, were killed by racist cops? Where’s the BLM folks to gather the stats, and let us know? (Whatever low number it may be, it is still too high, to be honest).

      Treyvon Martin could help us out here, if’n he was still with us! In honor of Treyvon, I haz written some poetry…

      Martin went a fartin’,
      And he did ride,
      With a sword and a pistol
      By his side,
      Lookin’ for a “creepy ass cracker”
      To help him eat his skittles,
      So when he couldn’t find his spittoon,
      He spit instead in his shittooon,
      And shit instead in his spittoon,
      While the cow jumped over the moon,
      And the dish snorted coke with a spoon,
      And we’ll all know the truth real soon!

  2. It’s all black people’s fault, who cares?

    1. It’s all black people’s fault, who cares?

      I was just wondering the same thing.

      Now that I’ve read your comment on an internet blog, I can sleep easy at night knowing that HazelMeade cares. Yup, Trump is on the whole opioid ‘epidemic’ issue and HazelMeade is on the whole black homicide ‘issue’. Check.

      Thanks HazelMeade!

    2. I wouldn’t say “who cares” (which, I suppose, is ironic), but yes, their murder rate is 8 times the white rate, too, so we’re basically talking about black people killing black people. Which is terrible, but has nothing to do with racism.

      1. Not directly, anyway. The racial history of the country probably has something to do with the situation.

        But you can’t undo history, so not much point arguing about that point.

        1. White people hate black so much that black people have to kill each other.

      2. It doesn’t have nothing to do with racism. However, the attitude of certain white people: “opiod epidemic – National Emergency! Black-homiocide rate – ho hum. ” does have a lot to do with racism. Problems that affect lower class white people are serious concerns that demand the attention of government – and not in a law enforcement way, but with social workers and treatment, while problems that affect black people are just the pathology of black culture and there’s nothing we can do about it.

        1. The headline should read “Corner drug dealers 4,000 times more likely to be victims of homicide”

      3. It doesn’t have nothing to do with racism. However, the attitude of certain white people: “opiod epidemic – National Emergency! Black-homiocide rate – ho hum. ” does have a lot to do with racism. Problems that affect lower class white people are serious concerns that demand the attention of government – and not in a law enforcement way, but with social workers and treatment, while problems that affect black people are just the pathology of black culture and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  3. There’s gonna be some talking going on in this thread. I’m sure I’ll be impressed with the decency we all show.

    1. Spoken like a true CUCK-FAG. /sarc

  4. RE: African Americans Are Eight Times More Likely to Be Victims of Homicide Than Whites, Says CDC
    The murder rate fell from 9.8 per 100,000 residents in 1991 to 4.5 in 2014; it’s estimated at 5.3 for 2016.

    But at least the left sees the wisdom of gun control.
    This way, African-Americans will not be able to defend themselves against violent criminals.
    Otherwise, the wrong people might get killed.

  5. African Americans Are Eight Times More Likely to Be Victims of Homicide Than Whites, Says CDC

    Homicide committed by other blacks…

    1. Exactly. Not our problem. Meanwhile, the opioid epidemic … we can’t let white people be subjected to these serious social pathologies!

  6. I would have thought it would have been middle aged white guys at the top, because guns are bad, and middle aged white guys are just about the only kind of people I see at gun shows.

  7. Why are homicide victimization rates so much higher in the African-American community?

    total mystery

    1. Why are homicide victimization rates so much higher in the African-American community?

      Most hilarious freudian slip ever.

      It must be hard to be a journalist these days. So many truths that must not be told, so many lies that must.

      His soul just couldn’t take the willful obtuseness required of him anymore.

  8. How can we get back on the track toward falling murder rates? One good first step would be to end the drug war, as my colleague Eric Boehm has suggested. That would eliminate at least some of the violence associated with the black market for drugs, which may account for as much as 25 percent of all homicides.

    25%? Maybe, if you only talk about direct killings, like dealers getting smoked on a corner.

    The culture surrounding the drug war, and the largest black market in history, is responsible for at least half of the murders in this country.

  9. If the study is correct, tbe way to lower the murder rate is to increase policing and not let criminals out of prison, as well as cut diwn on drug violence…somehow.

  10. Statism has wrecked minority communities

    The solution is clearly more statism

  11. Oh no you didn’t just write an article about black on black crime! Cry RACISM and let slip the Progs of War!

    1. Progs of War

      Worst band name ever.

      1. But they have a decent drummer.

  12. Unless all those homicides are by agents of the State…


    an expansion of urban drug markets fueled by the heroin trade; a greater number of prisoners being released into the nation’s cities; and a “Ferguson effect” in which the police respond to protests by de-policing

    Oh…so what we’re saying here is that Black people are:

    A) More likely to be involved in the heroin trade
    B) Shouldn’t be released from prison once they’re in there.
    C) Their neighborhoods are so dangerous the police don’t want to go there.

    RACISTS!

    Also, option C appears to be horseshit since I don’t think the police stop patrolling in an area because of protests. Unless…say…care to define ‘protest’ because now I’m curious on exactly how full of shit this guy is.

  13. Not long ago “Chipper Morning, Now #1” claimed Stephan Molyneux was a ‘white nationalist’ for talking about similar statistics.

    Or…. maybe that’s only when you also include the data on who perpetrates the homicides?

    1. Stalineux occasionally goes full statist though. He’s completely embraced the Trump moment in a way no self-respecting ancap ever would

  14. They’re also 8X more likely to commit murder, and a white person is more likely to be killed by a black person than the other way around (although both are so rare nobody should have to worry about it).

    1. How would you know, being colorblind?

      1. Even the colorblind can see black and white, Tony

  15. A lot of people always talk about this as if it means that every black person in the country is at significantly elevated risk for murder compared to the population in general. Which I don’t think is the case. Lots of black gangsters murder each other. That’s why the rate is so high, and includes so much black on black violence. One more reason why it’s silly to look at everything through the lens of race.

    1. “Lots of black gangsters murder each other.”

      Not really. It’s mostly just knuckleheads at the club, dice game, Taco Bell parking lot, etc.

      1. Anecdotal, perhaps, but occasionally I would ask the GSW I saw involving younger black men in the E.R. how it happened (Y’know, when they were still alive and/or conscious) and the stated reason was usually some variant of ‘said the wrong thing about the wrong person at a party’.

        Probably lying, of course, because they have no way to know that I have no intention of telling the police about it but it was a thing.

  16. He considered three possible explanations, which are not mutually exclusive: an expansion of urban drug markets fueled by the heroin trade; a greater number of prisoners being released into the nation’s cities; and a “Ferguson effect” in which the police respond to protests by de-policing. Rosenfeld concluded that the data that might underpin any of these hypotheses were inconclusive.

    If he could only come up with three, he’s not a very good criminologist.

  17. One good first step would be to end the drug war,

    Drugs are such a convenient excuse it would be a shame for it to go away.

    1. FY-CS: Let’s give it try anyway. After all, the murder rate rose to 9.7 per 100,000 after Prohibition was imposed and began falling when it was repealed.

      1. FY-CS: Let’s give it try anyway.

        Is there a libertarian salute? I feel like this is a situation where, in other circles, people would salute or say ‘Amen’.

  18. Black Americans are eight times more likely than white Americans to be the victims of a homicide.

    And probably more likely than white Americans to be the perpetrators by roughly the same ratio.

    Not saying anything inherently different about the races, just that blacks are far more likely to live in densely-populated poverty than any other race, which leads to high crime.

  19. Why are homicide victimization rates so much higher in the African-American community?

    Nature AND Nurture !

  20. If only we could achieve murder equality.

    If only those two numbers could be the same.
    We could try to lower the homicide rate of blacks, but, how to do it? Oh so difficult.
    Or, stay with me here, we could raise the…..

  21. Undoubtedly many of you will choose to wink and nudge toward certain genetic arguments, but the good news is you can pretty much blame the state for this disparity (although I would include the apathy of the white people who control what the state does as a big part of the problem). The drug war, racist cops, segregationist policies, that’s all government.

    I would say this social crisis necessitates active measures by government to rectify problems, but we can at least meet halfway on ending the drug war and such. Just as long as you can refrain from, you know.

    1. It’s weird how the drug war only affects the murder rates of black people. We should probably do away with segregation laws though. Oh wait, this isn’t 1935.

      1. Yes, it is isn’t it. I wonder if that has something to do with how law enforcement approaches drug dealing in black communities vs. white communities. I mean, just as a possible suggestion, it MIGHT be that cops look the other way at white teens dealing weed and other drugs, but they throw the book at black teens who deal weed. This disparity increases the risk and consequently the violence associated with the drug trade in black communities. It’s also possible that black kids that do drugs are much more likely to end up in prison, white white kids are more likely to end up in rehab.

        Certainly, if you compare the crack epidemic of the 1980s to the opioid epidemic of today the response is very different. In the first case, we got harsh penalties for dealing crack cocaine and more law enforcement, and in the latter, it is being treated as a public health issue.

  22. Issue: With the numbers provided, if you legalize drugs, blacks will still have 15 homicides per 100,000. Which would still DWARF any other group.

    Drugs aren’t the main issue causing the problem.

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