Its pretty common knowledge to African Americans that they have to move with caution in the world, especially if you’re a Black male.
However, now recent studies have found that Black people living in the US are actually 12 times more likely to be murdered than people in almost any other developed country in the world.
Do #BlackLivesMatter in America?
“We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” President Obama said earlier today, in reaction to the killing of nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday.
The details of the case, including the motivations of the suspect, Dylann Roof, are still unfolding. But I wanted to add just a little bit of context to Obama’s remarks — how the U.S. compares to other countries overall, and how that comparison obscures a wide racial divide: Black Americans are far more likely to be homicide victims than white Americans.
Extending on an analysis by the academic Kieran Healy, I calculated the rate of U.S. homicide deaths by racial group, based on the CDC WONDER data.3 From 2010 through 2012, the annual rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic white Americans was 2.5 per 100,000 persons, meaning that about one in every 40,000 white Americans is a homicide victim each year. By comparison, the rate of homicide deaths among non-Hispanic black Americans is 19.4 per 100,000 persons, or about 1 in 5,000 people per year.
Black Americans are almost eight times as likely as white ones to be homicide victims, in other words.
But there’s no other highly industrialized country with a homicide death rate similar to the one black Americans experience. Their homicide death rate, 19.4 per 100,000 persons, is about 12 times higher than the average rate among all people in other developed countries.