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Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2011
36 pages
Alexia Cooper; Erica L. Smith
Publication Series
Based on data from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports, this report contains tables and figures that describe homicide patterns and trends in the United States from 1980 through 2008, as well as overall homicide rates for 2009 and 2010, for which detailed data are not yet available.
Detailed data for homicides committed from 1980 through 2008 indicate homicide trends by age, sex, and race, including homicides of children under age 5 and persons ages 65 or older. Data are also presented on the relationship between the victim and offenders, particularly in cases of intimate and family homicide. The data also indicate when multiple victims and offenders were homicide victims, circumstances associated with the death, justifiable homicide, law enforcement officers killed, homicides cleared, and homicide trends by city size and weapon used. The data show that in the last decade (since 2000), the homicide rate declined to levels last reported in the mid-1960s. The homicide rate declined sharply from 9.3 homicides per 100,000 in 1992 to 4.8 homicides per 100,000 in 2010. Based on available data from 1980 to 2008, Blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and offenders. The victimization rate for Blacks (27.8 per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for Whites (4.5 per 100,000). The offending rate for Blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost eight times higher than the rate for Whites (4.5 per 100,000). Males constituted 77 percent of homicide victims and nearly 90 percent of offenders. Young adults had the highest homicide victimization and offending rates. The homicide victimization rate for children under age 14 was the lowest of all age groups. The percentage of females killed by an intimate declined from 43 percent in 1980 to 38 percent in 1995. After 1995, that percentage gradually increased, reaching 45 percent in 2008. Extensive tables and figures

Date Created: December 30, 2013