Sunday, January 13, 2013

Black homicide rates by state

++Addition++In response to Anthony's comment regarding the variances in the New Hampshire and Vermont black offender rates being the difference between one black murderer over five years in the former and five black murderers over the same period of time in the latter, I've noted by asterisk states in which there were fewer than five black murderers per year over the years considered.

Parenthetically, the correlation between a state's white and black offender rates is a statistically significant .52 (p = 0). Removing the low-end black offending states actually mitigates the relationship slightly to .48 (p = 0).


We've taken a look at white homicide rates by state. Now let's give black rates a gander. Using an online database out of the University of Michigan that utilizes the familiar SDA interface to pull figures from the Uniform Crime Reporting Data Series' homicide reports from 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2003 is how we'll go about it.

Murder rates among the total population are a lot easier to determine definitively than murder rates by subgroups within a population are. Murder is unlikely to go unreported--a corpse usually provides pretty good evidence of a homicide if it occurred. Take the number of murders by the overall population over a year and, voila, we have the homicide rate. However, the perpetrator(s) is sometimes unknown. Consequently, the sum rates of any number of non-overlapping subgroups is always going to fall short of the rate for the total population, even if the entire population falls into one of the various non-overlapping subgroups being considered.

To address this, for each state I figured the percentage of homicides perpetrated by blacks among those homicides for which the race of the killer was known and then assigned this percentage of the unknown perpetrator number to the black total. This assumes that the racial breakdown of unidentified murderers mirrors that of their identified brethren. Shows like CSI would have us believe that lots of the hard-to-catch killers are white. On the other hand, structural racism suggests that society often turns a blind eye to blacks killing blacks in the ghetto. Who knows? My guess is that this method understates the true black rates but that the effects of said understatements are pretty uniform across states.

Because 2006 is conveniently both the mean and median year employed, the black homicide rate per 100,000 people is calculated by averaging the number of murders in each state over the included five years and comparing it to a state's total black population in 2006. Both numerator and denominator include Hispanics who racially identify as black.

Only non-negligible homicides, which constitute the vast majority of all murders, are included.

Data are available from all states for each of the five years under consideration with the exception of DC (2009 data only) and Florida, which apparently doesn't participate in the UCR. Estimated black murder rates during the aughts per 100,000 blacks, by state:

1. District of Columbia38.68
2. Pennsylvania34.16
3. Wisconsin30.93
4. Michigan30.89
5. Indiana30.74
6. Arizona29.90
7. Louisiana29.28
8. Nevada27.71
9. Oklahoma27.06
10. Missouri27.01
11. Tennessee25.20
12. California25.13
13. Kansas24.10
14. Maryland23.73
15. Arkansas22.79
16. Ohio22.34
17. Minnesota21.58
18. Vermont*21.24
19. West Virginia19.70
20. Alabama19.61
21. Illinois18.62
22. New Jersey18.19
23. Texas18.00
24. Colorado17.89
25. South Carolina16.64
26. Virginia16.26
27. Kentucky16.16
28. New Mexico16.00
29. North Carolina15.40
30. Alaska*15.39
31. Utah*15.02
32. New York14.76
33. Washington14.53
34. Iowa14.29
35. Delaware14.00
36. Oregon13.94
37. Georgia13.54
38. Massachusetts13.45
39. Wyoming*12.57
40. Rhode Island*11.77
41. Mississippi11.20
42. Connecticut10.57
43. Hawaii*9.14
44. Montana*8.78
45. South Dakota*8.69
46. North Dakota*8.41
47. Idaho*8.28
48. Maine*4.42
49. Nebraska*3.68
50. New Hampshire*2.23

An accompanying visualization is available here.

States without areas of high black population density generally appear to do the best. Mississippi is an impressive exception to that rule. If asked to take a stab at which American cities have the most dangerous black populations, I bet people answering candidly would heavily include Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Detroit in their short-lists. Well, there you have it. I hear echoes of the unmentionable here, as well.


IHTG said...

So, what's the deal with Mississippi?

ironrailsironweights said...

Pennsylvania surprises me. While Philadelphia has its rough areas, the city doesn't have quite as bad a reputation as, say, Baltimore or Newark.


Audacious Epigone said...


With the exception of Louisiana--for which Steve's description of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath provides some explanation--the South does pretty well over all. Religiosity, relatively more rural living among blacks?

JayMan said...

Rural living is where my money is on the lowered Black crime rate in the Old South. You'd be surprised what having more space can do for people's tempers.

There's that, and perhaps there's the more aggressive, no-nonsense nature of Southern Whites, which may keep Blacks there in check.

As for the northern tier, including here in Maine, I think it's pretty straightforward... ;)

Anonymous said...

This may come across as a noob question, but I was wondering if somebody could answer this for me. If abilities are positively correlated (meaning that if you do well at one thing, you'll do well at everything else, leading to the g-factor of intelligence), how is it possible that some people are for example really good at math, but suck at verbal/language skills and vice versa? Why is it that, if cognitive abilities are positively correlated, some people can be of average or above average intelligence, but have a major deficiency in a certain cognitive area? Thanks guys.

A Smarter Anonymous said...

Anonymous Red Herring:

You need to learn to think statistically, instead of hanging yourself out to dry on anecdotes.

Everything about "g" and the IQ debate revolves around the statistical evidence. Those who fail to understand what the numbers are saying, are doomed to wander blind in a wealth of data.

Of yourse, you could be just a political dogmatist and troll.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that the lowest black rates are lower than some of the highest white rates.

I'd expect the reproductive advantages of violence in various environments may have something to do with it i.e. in urban underclass environments there may be a much higher differential advantage.

Audacious Epigone said...


I just read that post last week, too, but it didn't come to mind. Thanks for bringing it back to mind.

A Smarter Anonymous said...

Not so, anonymous.

White rates are combined with hispanic rates to give a false "white rate."

Most of those murders were committed by hispanics. Thank the US justice system for the PC screwup.

Anthony said...

Some interesting anomalies: Mississippi and Georgia have fairly low rates. Alabama is a *lot* higher. Perhaps cops in Alabama don't give a shit what blacks do to each other?

New Hampshire has a stunningly low rate. Vermont has a very high rate - more than 10 times higher. But that might be the difference between 1 murder in the 5 years in NH and 1 a year in VT.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning AE,

My narrow concern is who kills white strangers?

I don't plan to commit murder, but if I am to be the victim of a murderer who will do it?

I don't fear friends or family.

In the last four years in the area I live in, there have been two stranger murders both blacks killing whites.

Is there a rate for my risk group?

Kent Gatewood Edmond, OK

Audacious Epigone said...


Funny you say that because over the five year period that is EXACTLY what the difference is b/w the two neighboring states--1 black homicide offender in NH over the five year period compared to 5 of them in Vermont!


I'm sure there is, but the data from the UCR isn't detailed enough to come up with anything beyond a very rough approximation.

Steve Sailer said...

What's the correlation by state between white and black rates, leaving out states with tiny numbers of blacks?

Steve Sailer said...

The most jaw-dropping admission of cops not closely following up murders in black neighborhoods was the LAPD's admission a couple of years ago that they hadn't noticed that had their been at least five separate serial killers operating in South Central L.A. in the Eighties and Nineties, killing about 100 women, mostly poor crack whores. The cops had counted the killings, but in all the chaos of the crack wars, hadn't figured out they were victims of serial killers. Four of the killers were black, one white.

I think all five had confessed years later, much to the surprise of the LAPD. The best known was the Grim Sleeper. A lady freelance journalist did much of the legwork putting together the pattern.

Audacious Epigone said...


This weekend I'll do that and also tweak this post a bit to indicate which states have an especially small number of black homicide offenders that create the perception of large variances that are in actuality undetectable for people 'on the ground' (ie New Hampshire and Vermont).

Anthony said...

Thanks, Audacious. I actually looked up numbers to make that guess.

I saw a paper on "The Most Dangerous Equation" explaining de Moivre's equation, and showing that you can expect greater variance when you have small samples. It's illustrated with a map of counties with the highest death rate from kidney cancer, which are primarily rural southern and western counties. There's also a map of counties with the *lowest* death rate from kidney cancer, which are primarily rural southern and western counties.

It's at and/or - the second one has the two maps combined into one, in color.

That still doesn't explain the discrepancy between Alabama and its neighbors.

Chip said...

Steve Sailer,

Do you happen to have a link for the overlooked serial killer story?

OSS said...


Googling "Grim Sleeper" or searching for it at the LA Times will turn up the story.

The reporter who made the case, Christine Pelisek, has moved to the Daily Beast. She seems under utilized, she mainly just sums up the shocking crime du jour without doing any investigative work.

Anonymous said...

"Rural living is where my money is on the lowered Black crime rate in the Old South. You'd be surprised what having more space can do for people's tempers."

I'm beginning to think this is the critical factor.

*If* violence has a natural decay rate and naturally declines unless it's being constantly replenished by violent traits conferring a reproductive advantage then what confers the advantage?

Being successfully violent as an individual gorilla is easy as rival gorillas don't cheat or gang up on you but it is quite tricky among humans as even among an especially timid group it only takes one to shoot you in the back *if* there's no fear of reprisals from successfully doing so.

So a population density that allows for gangs to form may be the critical factor.

mr_evergreen said...

These are old statistics. I have more current statistics, from 2010. A link:

1. Missouri – (33.86 per 100,000)
2. Pennsylvania – 26.87
3. Michigan – 25.61
4. Nebraska – 25.58
5. Oklahoma –25.45
6. Indiana – 23.89
7. Maine – 22.62
8. Louisiana – 22.61
9. Ohio –19.25
10. California – 19.12
11. Kansas – 18.84
12. Wisconsin -18.75
13. Maryland – 18.65
14. New Jersey – 17.71
15. Nevada – 17.30
16. Illinois – 17.09
17. West Virginia – 16.76
18. Tennessee – 16.65
19. Delaware – 15.74
20. Massachusetts – 15.45
21. New York – 15.39
22. Arkansas -14.82
23. Texas – 14.19
24. Connecticut – 13.37
25. Arizona – 12.70
26. Georgia – 12.29
27. Kentucky – 12.08
28. South Carolina – 11.99
29. Minnesota – 11.68
30. Virginia – 11.32
31. New Mexico – 11.20
32. Mississippi – 10.71
33. Colorado – 10.33
34.Hawaii – 10.04
35.North Carolina – 10.0
36. Alabama – 8.07
37. Oregon – 7.68
38.Rhode Island – 6.64
39. Washington – 5.34
40. Iowa – 4.33
41. Utah – 4.18
42. Alaska – 2.96
43-49. Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming are all tied at zero murders per 100,000.

I would argue that the drug trade has played a big part in the Black murder rate.

I would say one reason the South seems to do well is because of reverse Great Migration back to the South. More educated Blacks are moving to the South.

Anonymous said...

It is laughable that you people still want to believe in your minds that you are innocent of violence. Check the stats from history on your group. The world bears witness to your hate, brutality, and destruction.

benjamindavidsteele said...

This is some strange data.

How in the heck did Wisconsin get at number 3? If you look at the black population map, Wisconsin has a low black population.

The number of blacks is similar to Minnesota and Iowa, but those two states are more middling on the black homicide rates.

It is even more strange when you look at the later data provided by mr_evergreen. Somehow, all three states have a very quick and massive drop in black homicide rates.

I'm not sure about the other states, but Iowa's black population has been growing rather than shrinking. Why is the black homicide rate in Iowa shrinking as the black population grows?

I'm wondering if there is something off about some of this data. It doesn't fit most maps of data I've seen about violence and other social problems.

Consider the estimated black IQ by state:

Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa all have around average black IQs. The estimated black IQs there are significantly higher than in the Deep South.

So, what would cause small populations of blacks with normal IQs in states with low rates of violence have fairly high rates of violence? And then what would make those rates drop so much over such a short period of time?

Something about this doesn't seem right.

Anonymous said...

Great analysis. A small correction:

"Only non-negligible homicides, which constitute the vast majority of all murders, are included."

Perhaps rephrase as: "Only non-negligent homicides, which are the vast majority of all homicides, are included."

That is because all murders are homicides, but not all homicides are murders; and negligent homicides--while infrequent--are never murders, by definition.

Anonymous said...

I would add the the reason that DC frequently leads the country on all kinds of negative social metrics is that it is a city being compared against states---apples and oranges, especially when talking homicide. But the rest of the analysis seems solid at first glance.

A shame that conventional criminology lacks the gumption to do powerful but basic analyses like this one. Ideologically verboten and professionally suicidal for those few criminologists who might actually be inclined to do them. One exception is James Alan(sp) Fox. Worth reading.