Objective: To investigate the relationship between racial residential segregation and differences in Black-White disparities in overall firearm homicides across U.S states.
Methods: Using a linear regression, we evaluated the relationship between racial residential segregation, as measured by the index of dissimilarity, and the Black-White firearm homicide disparity ratio in 32 states over the period 1991-2015. To account for clustering of observations within states, we used a generalized estimating equations approach.
Results: After controlling for measures of White and Black deprivation, multivariate analysis showed that racial segregation was positively associated with the Black-White firearm homicide disparity. For each 10-point increase in the index of dissimilarity, the ratio of Black to White firearm homicide rates in a state increased by 39%. After controlling for levels of White and Black deprivation, racial segregation remained negatively associated with White firearm homicide rates and positively associated with Black firearm homicide rates.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that racial segregation may increase the disparity in firearm homicide between the Black and White population.
Keywords: Dissimilarity index; Firearm; Homicide; Racial inequality; Residential segregation; Structural racism.
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