Male death rate for homicide in the U.S. 1950-2016 by ethnicity

African American males in the United States are much more likely to die from homicide than white males. In 2016, the death rate by homicide for African American males was 38 per 100,000 population, compared to a rate of just 5.2 per 100,000 population for white males. African American males are twice as likely to die from firearm-related injuries than white males, with handguns involved in the largest share of homicides in the U.S.

Homicide as a leading cause of death

While the leading causes of death for black and white residents in the U.S. are similar in many ways, there are two distinct differences. Homicide is not in the leading 10 causes of death among whites, but it is the seventh leading cause of death for blacks, accounting for around three percent of all deaths in this group. However, suicide is the ninth leading cause of death among whites, while it is not included in the 10 leading causes of death for blacks.

Death rates

Overall, the death rate in the United States is higher among non-Hispanic whites than any other ethnicity. Furthermore, males across all ethnicities in the U.S. have higher death rates than females. The two leading causes of death for every ethnicity in the U.S. are cancer and heart disease.

Male deaths by homicide per 100,000 resident population in the U.S. from 1950 to 2016, by ethnicity*

White maleBlack or African American male
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Sources

Release date

September 2018

Region

United States

Survey time period

1950 to 2016

Supplementary notes

* Data for 1950 and 1960 Include deaths of persons who were not residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.). Underlying cause of death was coded according to the 6th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 1950, 7th Revision in 1960, 8th Revision in 1970, and 9th Revision in 1980-1998. Starting with 1999 data, cause of death is coded according to ICD-10.
Rates are age-adjusted. Age-adjusted rates are calculated using the year 2000 standard population. Prior to 2003, age-adjusted rates were calculated using standard million proportions based on rounded population numbers. Starting with 2003 data, unrounded population numbers are used to calculate age-adjusted rates.
The race groups, white, black, Asian or Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaska Native, include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Values not included in the pdf version of the report were taken from the Health, United States, trend tables.

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