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Contents of Homicide trends in the U.S.

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Homicide trends in the U.S.
Trends by race

Racial differences exist, with blacks disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders

Blacks were 6 times more likely than whites to be murdered in 2000

To view data, click on the chart.

Homicide Victimization by Race[D]

For more information about racial patterns in violent victimization
see Key Facts at a Glance.

Blacks were over 7 times more likely than whites to commit homicide in 2000

To view data, click on the chart.

Homicide Offending by Race [D]

The race distribution of homicide victims and offenders differs by type of homicide

For the years 1976-2000 combined -

  • Black victims are greatly over represented in homicides involving arguments or drugs. Compared with the overall involvement of blacks as victims, blacks are less often the victims of sex-related homicides, homicide by poison and workplace killings.
  • Race patterns among offenders are similar to those among victims, except that black offenders are involved in a relatively large percentage of felony-murders (nearly six out of ten).
Homicide Type by Race, 1976-2000

Victims   Offenders
White Black Other   White Black Other
All homicides 51.1% 46.7% 2.2%   46.4% 51.5% 2.0%
Victim/offender relationship              
Intimate 55.7% 42.1% 2.2%   53.5% 44.4% 2.1%
Family 59.8% 37.8% 2.4%   58.3% 39.4% 2.3%
Infanticide 55.5% 41.9% 2.6%   55.2% 42.1% 2.6%
Eldercide 68.5% 29.9% 1.6%   54.5% 44.0% 1.6%
Circumstances              
Felony murder 55.2% 42.2% 2.6%   39.2% 59.2% 1.5%
Sex related 67.0% 30.4% 2.7%   56.8% 41.3% 1.9%
Drug related 36.8% 62.3% .9%   32.7% 66.3% 1.0%
Gang related 58.2% 38.4% 3.5%   56.7% 39.1% 4.2%
Argument 47.9% 49.9% 2.1%   45.7% 52.1% 2.2%
Workplace 85.0% 11.9% 3.1%   70.2% 26.9% 3.0%
Weapon              
Gun homicide 47.8% 50.3% 1.9%   43.7% 54.6% 1.7%
Arson 59.4% 37.7% 2.9%   54.5% 43.1% 2.4%
Poison 78.5% 18.3% 3.2%   74.3% 23.0% 2.7%
Multiple victims or offenders              
Multiple victims 64.5% 32.0% 3.5%   57.9% 38.6% 3.5%
Multiple offenders 55.5% 41.7% 2.8%   46.1% 51.6% 2.4%

Although slightly less true now than before,
most murders are intraracial

From 1976 to 2000 --

  • 86% of white victims were killed by whites
  • 94% of black victims were killed by blacks

To view data, click on the chart.

Race of Offender and Victim[D]

Stranger homicides are more likely to cross racial lines than those that involve friends or acquaintances

For homicides committed by --

  • a friend or acquaintance of the victim, 1 in 10 is interracial
  • a stranger to the victim, 3 in 10 are interracial

To view data, click on the chart.

Race of Offender and Victim by relationship[D]

Source: FBI, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 1976-2000
Additional information about the data used in Homicide trends in the U.S.

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Page last revised on November 21, 2002