CREDIT: Associated Press
In 2011, African Americans made up 13 percent of the nation’s population, but accounted for 50 percent of homicide victims, according to an analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation data by the Violence Policy Center. The rate of black homicide victims — 17.51 per 100,000 — is four times the national average, and almost eight times the rate for white victims.
Black victims were also more likely to be killed by a gun. Eighty-two percent of black victims were killed by a gun in cases where the weapon could be identified, as compared to 63 percent of white victims and 73 percent of all victims. In all, there were 6,309 black homicide victims in 2011. Nebraska had the highest rate of black homicides at 34.43 per 100,000.
Blacks have long been the disproportionate victims of gun violence, while whites are more likely to commit suicide. But the rate of black homicides was even even higher in 2011 than in 2010, up from 16.32 black victims per 100,000. The continued disparity is a reminder that, even as several tragic mass shootings took lives in places where gun violence is particularly rare, everyday gun violence against mostly minorities remains infinitely more common, and passes with little media notice. In New York City, murders are twice as likely to be solved when the victim is white instead of black, according to a recent analysis.
Blacks are more likely to favor gun violence prevention policies. A 2013 Washington Post-ABC News poll found that “about three-quarters of blacks support stronger controls, compared with about half of whites.”