Nearly Half US Murder Victims are Black: Report

AFP, August 9, 2007

African-Americans are victims of nearly half the murders committed in the United States despite making up only 13 percent of the population, a report published Thursday showed.

Around 8,000 of nearly 16,500 murder victims in 2005, or 49 percent, were black Americans, according to the report released by the statistics bureau of the Department of Justice.

Broken down by gender, 6,800 black men were murdered in 2005, making up more than half the nearly 13,000 male murder victims.

Black women made up 35 percent, or 1,200, of the nearly 3,500 female homicide victims.

Young black men aged between 17 and 29 bore a disproportionately high burden in the grim statistics, making up 51 percent of African-American murder victims.

The percentage of white male murder victims in the same age group was 37 percent.

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Most murder victims—93 percent of blacks and 85 percent of whites—were killed by someone of their own race.

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Blacks were also at greater risk of rape or sexual assault than any other ethnic group except American Indians, the report showed.

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