U.S. Homicide Assault Death Statistics

Homicide Assault Deaths Mortality

In 2016, homicidal assaults accounted for

19,362 deaths

—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Homicide is the intentional killing of another person. Murder is an unlawful homicide. While not all homicides are unlawful—for example, homicides committed in self-defense or in the course of law enforcement—the data in this article focuses specifically on homicide deaths by criminal assault.

How do homicide rates differ between states?

Since there is little variation in the national trend, geographical differences in homicide rates are more noteworthy. As the map below shows, there is significant variation between states. 

A number of states had no data to report—the CDC suppresses death data for locations with fewer than 10 deaths, to protect individuals' privacy; it also lists death rates with low numerators (less than 20 deaths) as unreliable. To see data for different years, use the time-slider beneath the map.

How do homicide rates differ by demographics?

By Race

In 2016, on the national level 10.1 African Americans per 100,000 died from homicides, ranking the highest among all races. For American Indians and Alaskan Natives 6.8 per 100,000 died from homicides. Whites are the third highest and 3.4 per 100,000 died from homicides. Lastly, Asians or Pacific Islanders rank the lowest and 1.9 per 100,000 died from homicides. 

By Sex

Nationally, men die at higher rates from suicide than women. National level data from 2016 shows 9.7 men per 100,000 died from homicides while only 2.4 women per 100,000 died from homicides. The chart below shows the rate of women and men who died from homicide in [state:undefined] compared to national levels. 

According to an NIH study, some factors that merit consideration for this disparity include lifestyle and behavioral risks as well as masculine socialization. 

By Age

Nationally, 15-24 and 25-35 year olds had the highest rate of deaths by homicide in 2016, at around 12 per 100,000. For the most part, young children and older Americans had the lowest homicide rates—with the exception of infants (1 year and younger) who experienced a relatively high homicide rate: 7 deaths per 100,000.  

About the Data

Mortality data in this story was queried from the CDC Wonder API, based on the following parameters:

• Underlying Cause of Death, ICD-10 codes: X85-Y09, Y87.1.

The charts show the CDC's age-adjusted rate, rather than crude rate, to account for variations in age-distribution and population size—with the exception of the chart comparing rates by age group.