Black Homicide Victimization in the United States

Spotlight on Missouri

In 2019, Missouri had the highest Black homicide victimization rate in the nation for the sixth year in a row. Missouri has ranked either first or second in the nation for Black homicide victimization 13 years in a row.

Even these grim statistics do not reveal the true scope of the problem in Missouri. Despite already having the highest Black homicide victimization rate in the country in 2014, from 2014 to 2019 the Black homicide victimization rate in Missouri increased by 45 percent. Missouri’s 2019 Black homicide victimization rate of 50.64 is nearly three times the national Black homicide victimization rate, and nearly 19 times the national homicide victimization rate for white victims.

Missouri’s Black homicide victimization rates in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 are the five highest rates in the 16-year history of this study.

The epidemic of Black homicide victimization in Missouri remains a crisis that should be a top priority for lawmakers in the state, and in 2020 it became an area of focus of the state’s news media. That year, a new collaborative reporting project, “Gun Violence in Missouri—Seeking Solutions,” was initiated. The ongoing project involves the Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Springfield News-Leader.


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