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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
WhiteBlackOther WhiteBlackOther
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%
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%
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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