High Homicide Rates
Why blacks have 6 year
shorter life expectancy than Whites
|Homicide Lowers Life Expectancy of Blacks:
|Daily Policy Digest
Monday, September 17, 2001
|Homicide is one of the major contributors to the difference in
overall life expectancy between blacks and whites in the U.S., according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the September 14th issue of the agencys "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report," the CDC reports that life expectancy for blacks in 1998 was approximately
six years shorter than that of whites.
|Homicide was the third-largest contributor to that difference. |
|Homicide followed heart disease and cancer in explaining the difference in overall life
expectancy between blacks and whites and stroke was also an important factor.
|The researchers also found that the contribution of homicide to the decreased life
expectancy was much greater among black males than among black females.
According to the CDC, factors that increase the risk of violence --
which could result in homicide -- include living at or below the poverty level, living in
single-parent households, poor school performance and exposure to neighborhood violence.
We were surprised by the findings because when you look at the death rate for
blacks, (homicide) only accounts for about 3 percent of deaths in any given year, but
contributes a great deal to the difference in life expectancy between blacks and
whites, the CDCs La Mar Hasbrouck told Reuters Health.
SOURCE: L. Potter, Influence of Homicide on Racial Disparity in Life Expectancy ---
United States, 1998, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, September 14, 2001;
Homicide Lowers Live Expectancy of Blacks: CDC, Reuters Health, September 13, 2001.
For more on Reported Crime Statistics