International and interstate comparisons of homicide among young males

JAMA. 1990 Jun 27;263(24):3292-5.


The homicide rate for males 15 through 24 years of age in the United States was compared with the rates in 21 other developed countries. The US homicide rate, 21.9 per 100,000, was more than four times higher than the next highest rate in Scotland (5.0). Most countries had rates that were between 1 and 3 per 100,000. The lowest rates were in Japan and Austria, each with rates below 0.6 per 100,000 males 15 through 24 years of age. Three quarters of the homicides in the United States resulted from the use of firearms contrasted with less than a quarter of all homicides in the comparison countries. The US homicide rate for black males 15 through 24 years of age (85.6) was more than seven times the rate for white males (11.2). In 1987 there were only four states that had homicide rates among white males that were as low as the rates among males in the comparison countries. The lowest state rate among young black males was still seven times the highest rate abroad. There are about 4000 homicides per year among young males in the United States. If the US homicide rate could be reduced to that in the country with the next highest rate, more than 3000 lives would be saved.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Blacks
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Developing Countries
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Firearms
  • Global Health
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology