Skip to content

MI Ranks #7 for Black Homicide Victimization

91% of Black Homicide Victims in Michigan were Killed with Guns.

Michigan has the 7th highest black homicide victimization rate in the nation with a rate of 28.55 per 100,000.

That’s nearly 40% higher than the national black homicide victimization rate and 5.5 times the overall homicide rate nationwide—according to a new analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2016 Homicide Data is an annual study that ranks states according to their black homicide victimization rates. It is based on unpublished data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR). The study is based on rates from 2016, the most recent year comprehensive national data is available.


The national black homicide victimization rate: 20.44 per 100,000

The overall national homicide victimization rate: 5.10 per 100,000

The MICHIGAN black homicide victimization rate: 28.55 per 100,000

Nationwide, 87 percent of black homicide victims were killed with guns

Also for Michigan, the study found:

AGE: 31 black homicide victims (8%) were less than 18 years old and 3 victims (1%) were 65 years of age or older. The average age was 31 years old.

SEX: Of the 402 black homicide victims, 343 were male and 59 were female.

WEAPON: When the weapon used could be identified, 91% of the black homicide victims were killed with guns. Of these, 41% were killed with handguns. There were 183 victims killed with firearms, type not stated.

VICTIM/OFFENDER RELATIONSHIP: For homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 83% of black homicide victims were killed by someone they knew. 17 were killed by strangers.

CIRCUMSTANCE: For homicides in which the circumstances could be identified, 78% were not related to the commission of any other felony. Of these, 60% involved arguments between the victim and the offender.

Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is once again appalled by the results of the Violence Policy Center’s most recent report about black homicide victimization. While Michigan is ranked seventh this year, Michigan has ranked in the top seven since 2004, indicating little or no progress in stemming this crisis. In an effort to mitigate this tragedy, MCPGV is engaged in supporting the development of a new gun violence prevention group in Flint, a city in Michigan that is hard hit by homicides. It is the intention of this new group to take a holistic approach to gun violence and it is led by people in the age cohort that is most affected by gun violence, particularly homicides.

Linda Brundage, MCPGV Executive Director

The Cost of Gun Violence Runs Deep

Gun violence takes a toll on more than just lives. Individuals living in communities where violence is prevalent are at higher risk for a broad range of health and behavior problems. A better understanding of how trauma stemming from community violence affects development, health, and behavior can lead to improvements in how social services are delivered, as well as policy changes at the local and federal levels.

For more information, see the July 2017 VPC study The Relationship Between Community Violence and Trauma: How Violence Affects Learning, Health, and Behavior.