Missouri Leads U.S. in Black Homicide Rate -- Again

click to enlarge Missouri has had the highest or second-highest black murder rate for the last six years. - Derek Bridges via Flickr
Missouri has had the highest or second-highest black murder rate for the last six years.

If you're black and you live in Missouri, you're seven times more likely to be murdered than non-blacks and twice as likely to be murdered than blacks in other states.

That's according to the latest report from the Washington D.C.-based Violence Policy Center, which analyzed the numbers from 2012, the most recent comprehensive national data available.

Once again, Missouri has the highest rate of black homicide victimization in the country, the Violence Policy Center found. Missouri ranked second behind Nebraska last year and had the highest black homicide victimization rate in 2013, 2012 and 2011. The Show-Me State also ranked second in 2010, behind Pennsylvania.

In Missouri, 247 blacks were murdered in 2012 at a rate of 34.98 per 100,000, which is nearly two times the national black homicide victimization rate and more than seven times the overall homicide rate nationwide. That year, the national black homicide rate was 18.03 per 100,000, and the overall U.S. homicide rate was 4.50 per 100,000.

See also: Black Drivers Still Get Pulled Over More in Missouri, St. Louis: Attorney General

The numbers say Missouri's typical black homicide victim is young, male and was killed with a gun by someone he knew.

Nine percent of Missouri's homicide victims were younger than eighteen-years-old, and the average age was 29-years-old. Only 40 of the 247 victims were women.

Nearly 90 percent of victims were killed with guns. Fifteen victims were killed with knives and cutting instruments, five were killed by bodily force and six were killed with a blunt object.

Violence Policy Center found 96 homicides where the victim's relationship to his or her killer could be identified. Seventy of those victims knew their attacker, while 26 victims were killed by strangers.

Black people represented 13 percent of the nation's population in 2012, the year these statistics were taken, but accounted for 50 percent of all homicide victims.

"America's gun violence epidemic affects everyone, but it has a disproportionate impact on black men and women," says executive director Josh Sugarmann. "Gun violence destroys lives, tears families apart, and traumatizes entire communities -- and too many elected officials have ignored this ongoing crisis. It is time for action."

Here's the full report:

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at [email protected].

Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.