Posted on May 1, 2023

Missouri Has the Highest Black Homicide Rate in America

Peggy Lowe, KCUR, April 26, 2023


Missouri has the highest Black homicide rate in the U.S. for the seventh year in a row — and the violence is driven by guns, a new study found.

The report, by the Washington-based gun control advocacy nonprofit Violence Policy Center, found that Black Missourians are killed at a rate of nearly 51 per 100,000 people — more than twice the national Black homicide rate and 8.5 times the overall homicide rate across the country.

Josh Sugarmann, the center’s executive director, said Missouri has reached a crisis. The Black homicide victimization rate in Missouri increased by 46% from 2014 to 2020, he said.

“This is the 14th year in a row that Missouri has either ranked first or second in the nation for black homicide victimization,” he said. {snip}


Nationally, there were 9,753 Black homicide victims in the U.S. in 2020, a 29% increase from 2019, the study found. The Black homicide victimization rate was nearly four times higher than the overall rate and seven times the white homicide rate, the study said.


Kansas City has set homicide records several times in recent years. So far this year, there have been 52 homicides, which is ahead of last year’s pace, according to Kansas City Police statistics. Black males are 65 percent of the victims.

In Missouri, the most common weapon used was a gun, used in 94% of the killings. {snip}