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Blacks Account For Over Half Of U.S. Homicide Victims

Guns are by far the most common weapon used to kill Black homicide victims, says a new study from the Violence Policy Center (VPC). The study shows that in 2022 there were 13,466 U.S. Black homicide victims and that 87.4% of these victims were killed with guns. Black Americans represented 13.6% of the U.S. population yet accounted for 54.1% of all homicide victims. “The toll gun homicide exacts on Black men, women, boys, and girls is a national shame that demands action. The resulting devastation ravages families, friends, and communities. The purpose of this report is to help support advocates and organizations working to stop this lethal violence while continuing to educate and engage the public and policymakers on the need to address this ongoing crisis,” said center director Josh Sugarmann. The report is based on 2022 WISQARS mortality data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data submitted to the FBI. .


In 2022, the 10 states with the highest Black homicide victimization rates were: Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon, Louisiana, Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. This is the 16th year in a row that Missouri has ranked either first or second in the nation for Black homicide victimization. Despite already having the highest Black homicide victimization rate in the last decade, CDC data show that the Black homicide victimization rate in Missouri more than doubled. On average, more than 36 Black Americans died each day from homicide in 2022; of these, 32 were known to have died from gun homicides. The Black homicide victimization rate was nearly four times the overall national victimization rate and nearly seven times the white homicide victimization rate.  Of Black homicide victims, 11,528 (85.7% ) were male and 1,918 (14.3%) were female.

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