When Men Murder Women

An Analysis of 2020 Homicide Data

Understanding the Statistics

This analysis of female homicide victims in the United States is limited to cases involving one female victim and one male offender. Supplemental data on age and race of victim, the type of weapon used, the relationship of victim to offender, and the circumstances of the murder are provided for each state as follows:

Rates of females killed by males in single victim/single offender incidents by state were computed using reported incidents by state and female population estimates for 2020 from the U.S. Census Bureau.

States were ranked by their female homicide victimization rates. Rates were rounded to the second decimal place.

This section notes how many female homicide victims were less than 18 years old and how many were 65 years of age or older.

This section identifies the race of female victims.

For homicides in which the weapon could be identified, this section records the number of females killed by firearms, specifically handguns. It also lists the most common weapons—other than firearms—used by males to kill females.

This section lists the number of females killed by known offenders and the number killed by strangers. This section also enumerates the number of victims identified as wives or intimate acquaintances (common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends) of the offenders, as well as the number of these intimates shot and killed with firearms in general and handguns in particular.

This section indicates the number of cases in which the homicide was related to the commission of any other felony. This section also provides the number of cases that involved arguments between the victim and the offender.

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