Homicide Rates in the United States
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A homicide rate is the measure of the rate of occurrence of homicide committed in a certain time area or time. Homicide rate is given as the number of homicides committed among a given number of persons. Thus a homicide rate may be given as a number of murders per 100,000 people per year within a city or country. I believe that it is incredibly important to learn about homicide rates because you would gain knowledge on the safest and most dangerous cities, states, and countries. Some social topics I will explore are how poverty and the death penalty affect the homicide rate.
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Main Information:
Homicide rates of urban areas tend to be much higher than those of suburban areas. A city tends to have a higher homicide rate if a large percent of the population lives in vast ghettos, doesn’t earn a large salary, or do not have adequate shelter. Detroit, the city with the highest crime rate and an income per capita of roughly $14,000, has the ninth highest homicide rate in US. Compton, CA is one of the poorest ghettos in America, having a per capita income of roughly $10,000. Therefore, Compton has the highest urban homicide rate in the country at an astounding 67.1. San Francisco, CA has a per capita income of $30,239. Other notable cities are Baltimore, 6th overall, with a homicide rate of 42, Detroit, 9th overall, Washington D.C, 13th overall, Philadelphia, 18th overall, San Francisco 69th overall, and Los Angeles 73rd overall.
The death penalty has a fascinating impact on the homicide rate of a state. States using the penalty of death averaged a homicide rate of 5.9, while states not using the death penalty maintained a homicide rate of 4.22. That means states using capital punishment average a homicide rate 40% higher than states that don’t use the penalty of death throughout the 21st century. The southern region has executed 901 people since 1976 and they hold an average homicide rate of 6.7 throughout the decade. While the North-Eastern region has executed 4 people since 1976 and averaged a homicide rate of 4.3 throughout the decade.

Historically, the United States has had one of the highest recorded homicide rates. Until the 1970’s the US had the highest recorded homicide rate. In the 21st century the United States has had one of the highest homicide rates out of first world countries, averaging over 5. Japan, Ireland, Iceland have the lowest murder rates of developed countries, with an average murder rate of .05. However, the United States present murder rate is surprisingly low compared to those of the 20s, 30s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, averaging a decade homicide rate of 8.1, 8.3, 9, 8.7, and 8 respectively.
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This graph shows how the South’s homicide rate eclipses that of the rest of the US. I hope this graph clarifies why the U.S has such a high homicide rate by comparing the South to the rest of the US.
This graph shows that, contrary to popular belief, states with the death penalty average a higher homicide rate than those of other states. This graph shows how ineffective the death penalty actually is.
This graph shows the average homicide rate of the US for each decade over the century. The digits stand for decade. 10=2000. This shows that the US has improved drastically over the decade.

Cooper, David. “Deterrence: States Without the Death Penalty Have Had
Consistently Lower Murder Rates.” Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), 2008
“List of Countries by Homicide Rate.” Wikipedia, 29 March, 2008
“Murder Rates 1996-2006.” Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), 2008
Morgan Quinto Press, “13th Annual Safest and Most Dangerous Cities”. Personal
Education, Inc, 2007
“Safest and Most Dangerous U.S. Cities 2007” Personal Education, Inc, 2008
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