32 Types of Crime - Murder - Percent, Table, Victims, and Race

Types of Crime - Murder

percent table victims race

The FBI defines murder and non-negligent manslaughter as "the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another." The figures for murder do not include suicides, accidents, or justifiable homicides either by citizens or law enforcement officers. In 2002 a murder was committed every 32.4 minutes according to the UCR's Crime Clock. The murder rate was 5.6 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. In 2002 murders were most likely to occur in July and September and least likely to occur in February.

Murder Rate Decline

The total of homicides in 2002 was 16,204, compared to 16,037 in 2001. (See Table 2.1.) Murder and non-negligent manslaughter declined by 4.5 percent from 1998 to 2002, and by 33.9 percent from 1993.

FIGURE 2.1
Crime Index offenses, 2002

TABLE 2.1
Index of Crime1, 1983–2002

Population2 Crime Index Modified Crime Index3 Violent crime4 Property crime4 Murder and non-negligent manslaughter Forcible rape Aggravated Robbery Larceny-assault Burglary Motor vehicle theft theft Arson3
Number of offenses
Population by year:
1983-233,791,994 12,108,630 1,258,087 10,850,543 19,308 78,918 506,567 653,294 3,129,851 6,712,759 1,007,933
1984-235,824,902 11,881,755 1,273,282 10,608,473 18,692 84,233 485,008 685,349 2,984,434 6,591,874 1,032,165
1985-237,923,795 12,430,357 1,327,767 11,102,590 18,976 87,671 497,874 723,246 3,073,348 6,926,380 1,102,862
1986-240,132,887 13,211,869 1,489,169 11,722,700 20,613 91,459 542,775 834,322 3,241,410 7,257,153 1,224,137
1987-242,288,918 13,508,708 1,483,999 12,024,709 20,096 91,111 517,704 855,088 3,236,184 7,499,851 1,288,674
1988-244,498,982 13,923,086 1,566,221 12,356,865 20,675 92,486 542,968 910,092 3,218,077 7,705,872 1,432,916
1989-246,819,230 14,251,449 1,646,037 12,605,412 21,500 94,504 578,326 951,707 3,168,170 7,872,442 1,564,800
1990-249,464,396 14,475,613 1,820,127 12,655,486 23,438 102,555 639,271 1,054,863 3,073,909 7,945,670 1,635,907
1991-252,153,092 14,872,883 1,911,767 12,961,116 24,703 106,593 687,732 1,092,739 3,157,150 8,142,228 1,661,738
1992-255,029,699 14,438,191 1,932,274 12,505,917 23,760 109,062 672,478 1,126,974 2,979,884 7,915,199 1,610,834
1993-257,782,608 14,144,794 1,926,017 12,218,777 24,526 106,014 659,870 1,135,607 2,834,808 7,820,909 1,563,060
1994-260,327,021 13,989,543 1,857,670 12,131,873 23,326 102,216 618,949 1,113,179 2,712,774 7,879,812 1,539,287
1995-262,803,276 13,862,727 1,798,792 12,063,935 21,606 97,470 580,509 1,099,207 2,593,784 7,997,710 1,472,441
1996-265,228,572 13,493,863 1,688,540 11,805,323 19,645 96,252 535,594 1,037,049 2,506,400 7,904,685 1,394,238
1997-267,783,607 13,194,571 1,636,096 11,558,475 18,208 96,153 498,534 1,023,201 2,460,526 7,743,760 1,354,189
1998-270,248,003 12,485,714 1,533,887 10,951,827 16,974 93,144 447,186 976,583 2,332,735 7,376,311 1,242,781
1999-272,690,813 11,634,378 1,426,044 10,208,334 15,522 89,411 409,371 911,740 2,100,739 6,955,520 1,152,075
2000-281,421,906 11,608,070 1,425,486 10,182,584 15,586 90,178 408,016 911,706 2,050,992 6,971,590 1,160,002
2001-285,317,559 11,876,669 1,439,480 10,437,189 16,037 90,863 423,557 909,023 2,116,531 7,092,267 1,228,391
2002-288,368,698 11,877,218 1,426,325 10,450,893 16,204 95,136 420,637 894,348 2,151,875 7,052,922 1,246,096
Percent change, number of offenses:
2002/2001 * −0.9 +0.1 +1.0 +4.7 −0.7 −1.6 +1.7 −0.6 +1.4
2002/1998 −4.9 −7.0 −4.6 −4.5 +2.1 −5.9 −8.4 −7.8 −4.4 +0.3
2002/1993 −16.0 −25.9 −14.5 −33.9 −10.3 −36.3 −21.2 −24.1 −9.8 −20.3
Rate per 100,000 inhabitants
Year:
1983 5,179.2 538.1 4,641.1 8.3 33.8 216.7 279.4 1,338.7 2,871.3 431.1
1984 5,038.4 539.9 4,498.5 7.9 35.7 205.7 290.6 1,265.5 2,795.2 437.7
1985 5,224.5 558.1 4,666.4 8.0 36.8 209.3 304.0 1,291.7 2,911.2 463.5
1986 5,501.9 620.1 4,881.8 8.6 38.1 226.0 347.4 1,349.8 3,022.1 509.8
1987 5,575.5 612.5 4,963.0 8.3 37.6 213.7 352.9 1,335.7 3,095.4 531.9
1988 5,694.5 640.6 5,054.0 8.5 37.8 222.1 372.2 1,316.2 3,151.7 586.1
1989 5,774.0 666.9 5,107.1 8.7 38.3 234.3 385.6 1,283.6 3,189.6 634.0
1990 5,802.7 729.6 5,073.1 9.4 41.1 256.3 422.9 1,232.2 3,185.1 655.8
1991 5,898.4 758.2 5,140.2 9.8 42.3 272.7 433.4 1,252.1 3,229.1 659.0
1992 5,661.4 757.7 4,903.7 9.3 42.8 263.7 441.9 1,168.4 3,103.6 631.6
1993 5,487.1 747.1 4,740.0 9.5 41.1 256.0 440.5 1,099.7 3,033.9 606.3
1994 5,373.8 713.6 4,660.2 9.0 39.3 237.8 427.6 1,042.1 3,026.9 591.3
1995 5,274.9 684.5 4,590.5 8.2 37.1 220.9 418.3 987.0 3,043.2 560.3
1996 5,087.6 636.6 4,451.0 7.4 36.3 201.9 391.0 945.0 2,980.3 525.7
1997 4,927.3 611.0 4,316.3 6.8 35.9 186.2 382.1 918.8 2,891.8 505.7
1998 4,620.1 567.6 4,052.5 6.3 34.5 165.5 361.4 863.2 2,729.5 459.9
1999 4,266.5 523.0 3,743.6 5.7 32.8 150.1 334.3 770.4 2,550.7 422.5
2000 4,124.8 506.5 3,618.3 5.5 32.0 145.0 324.0 728.8 2,477.3 412.2
2001 4,162.6 504.5 3,658.1 5.6 31.8 148.5 318.6 741.8 2,485.7 430.5
2002 4,118.8 494.6 3,624.1 5.6 33.0 145.9 310.1 746.2 2,445.8 432.1
Percent change, rate per 100,000 inhabitants:
2002/2001 −1.1 −2.0 −0.9 * +3.6 −1.7 −2.7 +0.6 −1.6 +0.4
2002/1998 −10.9 −12.9 −10.6 −10.5 −4.3 −11.8 −14.2 −13.5 −10.4 −6.0
2002/1993 −24.9 −33.8 −23.5 −40.9 −19.8 −43.0 −29.6 −32.1 −19.4 −28.7
1The murder and nonnegligent homicides that occurred as a result of the events of September 11, 2001, were not included in this table.
2Populations are Bureau of the Census provisional estimates as of July 1 for each year except 1990 and 2000 which are decennial census counts.
3Although arson data are included in the trend and clearance tables, sufficient data are not available to estimate totals for this offense.
4Violent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.
*Less than one-tenth of 1 percent.
SOURCE: "Table 1: Index of Crime, United States, 1983–2002," in Crime in the United States 2002, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC, 2003

Murder Rate by Area

The South, the nation's most populous region, had the highest incidence of murder in 2002, accounting for 43.1 percent of all homicides in the United States. Western states were next, at 23.0 percent, followed by the Midwest at 20.4 percent, and the Northeast at 13.6 percent. (See Table 2.2.) These proportions are nearly identical to 1998 figures, when 44 percent of murders in the nation

TABLE 2.2
Index of Crime offense and population distribution, by region, 2002

Area Population Crime Index Modified Crime Index1 Violent crime2 Property crime2 Murder and non-negligent man-slaughter Forcible rape Robbery Aggravated assault Burglary Larceny-theft Motor vehicle theft Arson1
United States total3 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Northeast 18.8 13.2 15.8 12.8 13.6 13.5 19.2 14.6 11.5 13.2 13.1
Midwest 22.6 21.3 19.4 21.6 20.4 25.3 19.5 18.7 20.7 22.3 18.8
South 35.8 41.1 41.4 41.0 43.1 37.5 38.5 43.1 44.8 40.9 35.2
West 22.8 24.4 23.4 24.6 23.0 23.7 22.8 23.7 22.9 23.6 32.9
1Although arson data are included in the trend and clearance tables, sufficient data are not available to estimate totals for this offense.
2Violent crimes are offenses of murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft.
3Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
SOURCE: "Table 3: Index of Crime, Offense and Population Distribution by Region, 2002," in Crime in the United States 2002, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC, 2003

TABLE 2.3
Murder offenders, by age, sex, and race, 2002

Sex Race
Age Total Male Female Unknown White Black Other Unknown
Total 15,813 10,285 1,108 4,420 5,356 5,579 274 4,604
Percent distribution1 100.0 65.0 7.0 28.0 33.9 35.3 1.7 29.1
Under 182 848 770 77 1 389 424 26 9
Under 222 3,402 3,128 269 5 1,499 1,770 94 39
18 and over2 9,525 8,511 996 18 4,714 4,464 241 106
Infant (under 1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 to 4 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
5 to 8 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
9 to 12 26 18 7 1 7 18 0 1
13 to 16 446 401 45 0 227 198 15 6
17 to 19 1,507 1,412 92 3 648 802 42 15
20 to 24 2,916 2,656 256 4 1,265 1,547 73 31
25 to 29 1,644 1,492 150 2 769 819 37 19
30 to 34 1,120 986 132 2 573 506 27 14
35 to 39 865 749 116 0 460 385 13 7
40 to 44 638 522 115 1 367 242 21 8
45 to 49 493 425 68 0 298 172 20 3
50 to 54 311 262 44 5 195 103 7 6
55 to 59 168 150 18 0 117 41 6 4
60 to 64 83 72 11 0 59 22 2 0
65 to 69 49 41 8 0 38 9 2 0
70 to 74 45 38 6 1 32 12 0 1
75 and over 60 56 4 0 48 10 2 0
Unknown 5,440 1,004 35 4,401 253 691 7 4,489
1Because of rounding, the percentages may not add to 100.0.
2Does not include unknown ages.
SOURCE: "Table 2.6: Murder Offenders, by Age, Sex, and Race," in Crime in the United States 2002, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC, 2003

occurred in the South, 22 percent occurred in Western states, 21 percent occurred in Midwestern states and 13 percent were in Northeastern states.

As seen in Table 1.2 in Chapter 1, metropolitan areas reported a murder rate in 2002 of 6.2 victims per 100,000 population, down from 6.7 victims per 100,000 persons in 1998. (As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, a "metropolitan statistical area," or MSA, is an urbanized area including a central city of 50,000 residents or more, or a Census Bureau-defined urbanized area of at least 50,000 inhabitants and a total metropolitan population of 75,000 in New England and at least 100,000 elsewhere.) Rates for murder in 2002 in cities outside metropolitan areas were 3.2 victims per 100,000 population and in rural counties, 3.6 victims per 100,000 population.

Sex, Race, and Age

In 2002 about two-thirds of the accused murder offenders were reported to be male (65.0 percent), though in 28.0 percent of cases, the sex of the offender was not given. Of 15,813 murder offenders, 3,128 males and 269 females were under the age of 22, while 770 males and 77 females were under the age of 18. Of murder offenders in 2002 for whom race was known, 35.3 percent were black, 33.9 percent were white, and 1.7 percent were of other racial origins. The remainder were persons of unknown races. (See Table 2.3.)

The offender and the victim were usually of the same race. Of 3,582 white murder victims, 3,000 were killed by white offenders in 2002. Similarly, of 3,137 black victims of homicide, almost all (2,852) were killed by black offenders. (See Table 2.4.) Males and females were the victims of male offenders in most cases, though female murder offenders were more likely to kill males than females in 2002.

Murder Circumstances

In 2002 relatives, acquaintances, or others with personal relationships to the victims committed 75.6 percent of all murders in which the relationship of the victim to the offender was known. (Almost 43 percent of the relationships were unknown.) Of 14,054 murders in 2002, 601 wives were the victims of their husbands and 444 girlfriends were the victims of their boyfriends. Sons (239) were more likely to be murdered than were daughters (210). (See Table 2.5.) Arguments resulted in 3,730 murders in 2002, down from 4,356 in 1998. Robbery was the felony offense most likely to result in murder in 2002, as it has been since 1998. Juvenile gang killing accounted for 911 murders in 2002, up from 625 in 1998. (See Table 2.6.)

Nearly sixty-seven percent of all murders were committed with firearms in 2002. (See below for more information on firearms and crime.) Knives were used in 12.6 percent of murders; blunt instruments in 4.7 percent; personal

TABLE 2.4
Relationship between murder victim and offender, by race and sex, 2002
[Single victim/single offender]

Race of offender Sex of offender
Race of victim Total White Black Other Unknown Male Female Unknown
White victims 3,582 3,000 483 58 41 3,169 372 41
Black victims 3,137 227 2,852 11 47 2,768 320 49
Other race victims 192 51 28 109 4 169 19 4
Unknown race 94 31 23 2 38 45 11 38
Race of offender Sex of offender
Sex of victim Total White Black Other Unknown Male Female Unknown
Male victims 4,931 2,192 2,545 121 73 4,328 528 75
Female victims 1,980 1,086 818 57 19 1,778 183 19
Unknown sex 94 31 23 2 38 45 11 38
SOURCE: "Table 2.8: Murder Victim/Offender Relationship, by Race and Sex, 2002," in Crime in the United States 2002, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington, DC, 2003

weapons (fists, feet, and the like) in 6.6 percent; and other weapons, such as poisons and explosives, in the remaining 9.3 percent. (See Table 2.7.)

Of the 9,369 murder victims killed by firearms in 2002, 661 were under the age of 18 (7 percent) and 2,358 were under 22 years of age (25 percent). Almost 50 percent of murder victims under the age of 18 and over two-thirds of those under age 22 were killed by firearms.

Between 1982 and 2001 there were 327 sniper-attack murder incidents with 379 murder victims, according to the FBI. (See Table 2.8.) In 2001 there were five sniper-attack incidents resulting in five murders, down from eight incidents in 2000 with eight victims, and much lower than the 20-year high of 47 incidents in 1988 with 55 deaths. Of the 224 offenders arrested during this period, 217 were male and seven female. Forty percent of offenders were aged 21 or under. (See Table 2.9.)

Arrests

Because murder is considered the most serious crime, it receives the most police attention and, therefore, has the highest arrest rate of all felonies. According to the 2002 UCR on murder, about 64.0 percent of murders in 2002 were cleared by arrest. The rate was somewhat lower in cities, with 62 percent of murders and non-negligent manslaughter offenses cleared by arrest in 2002. Because an arrest is made does not mean that the alleged offender is guilty or will be convicted in criminal or juvenile court.

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