Press Release
Press Release

Wisconsin Ranks #8 for Black Homicide Victimization Rate

State’s black homicide victimization rate is 23.22 per 100,000, seven out of 10 victims killed with guns

By - Jan 23rd, 2014 12:29 pm

Wisconsin ranks eighth in the nation in the rate of black homicide victimization with a rate of 23.22 per 100,000, which is more than five times the overall homicide victimization rate nationwide, according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The annual VPC study, Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data, ranks the states according to their black homicide victimization rates. It is based on unpublished data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). The study refers to homicide rates in 2011, the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available. This is the eighth year the VPC has released the study.

In Wisconsin, there were 86 black homicide victims in 2011, resulting in a homicide rate of 23.22 per 100,000. That year, the national black homicide rate was 17.51 per 100,000, and the overall national homicide rate was 4.44 per 100,000.

For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 70 percent of the black homicide victims in Wisconsin (58 out of 83) were shot and killed with guns. Nationwide, for homicides in which the weapons used could be identified, 82 percent of black homicide victims were killed with guns.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis that touches all Americans, but the impact on African Americans is especially devastating,” states VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann. “This report should be a wake-up call for our elected officials to address the disproportionately high homicide victimization rate among black men and women. The longer we wait to act, the more lives will be lost.”

The 10 states with the highest black homicide victimization rates in 2011 were:

Rank   State               Black Homicide Rate Per 100,000

  1. Nebraska        34.43
  2. Missouri           33.38
  3. Michigan         31.54
  4. Pennsylvania  29.02
  5. Oklahoma       25.51
  6. Louisiana         25.30
  7. Kansas            24.97
  8. Wisconsin        23.22
  9. West Virginia   22.79
  10. North Dakota  21.99

For WISCONSIN, the study finds that in 2011:

  • Of the 86 black homicide victims, 75 were male and 11 were female.
  • Of the 58 black homicide victims killed with guns, 81 percent (47 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 7 victims killed with firearms where the type of gun was not stated. There were 11 victims killed with knives or other cutting instruments, 9 victims killed by bodily force, and 3 victims killed by a blunt object.
  • Twelve black homicide victims (14 percent) were less than 18 years old and 2 victims (2 percent) were 65 years of age or older. The average age was 29 years old.
  • For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 65 percent of black homicide victims (37 out of 57) were murdered by someone they knew. Twenty victims were killed by strangers.
  • For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 75 percent (41 out of 55) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 73 percent (30 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.

For the entire UNITED STATES, the study finds that in 2011:

  • There were 6,309 black homicide victims in the United States. Of these, 5,452 were male, 854 were female, and 3 were of unknown gender.
  • The black homicide victimization rate in the United States was 17.51 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall national homicide victimization rate was 4.44 per 100,000. For whites, the national homicide victimization rate was 2.64 per 100,000.
  • The homicide rate for black male victims was 31.67 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall homicide rate for male victims was 7.13 per 100,000. For white male victims, the homicide rate was 3.85 per 100,000.
  • The homicide rate for black female victims was 4.54 per 100,000. In comparison, the overall homicide rate for female victims was 1.81 per 100,000. For white female victims, the homicide rate was 1.45 per 100,000.
  • For homicides in which the weapon used could be identified, 82 percent of black victims (4,949 out of 6,022) were shot and killed with guns. Of these, 77 percent (3,824 victims) were killed with handguns. There were 868 victims killed with firearms where the type of gun was not stated. There were 644 victims killed with knives or other cutting instruments, 221 killed by bodily force, and 130 victims killed by a blunt object.
  • Four hundred eighty-seven black homicide victims (8 percent) were less than 18 years old and 100 victims (2 percent) were 65 years of age or older. The average age was 30 years old.
  • For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 73 percent of black victims (2,138 out of 2,928) were murdered by someone they knew. Seven hundred ninety victims were killed by strangers.
  • For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 70 percent (2,540 out of 3,652) were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 58 percent (1,475 homicides) involved arguments between the victim and the offender.

The full study is available at http://www.vpc.org/studies/blackhomicide14.pdf.

The ViolencePolicyCenter(www.vpc.org) is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the Violence Policy Center on Facebook and follow @VPCinfo on Twitter.

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