In the United States, increasing numbers of boys and young men are dying from homicide. Each year from 1999 to 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded an average increase of more than four percent in the number of young Americans under the age of 18 who died from homicide, manslaughter, or assault.
As a research group from the health authority has now established in a technical paper, more than 38,000 children and young people died from “homicides” in the period examined. Almost two in three of the Americans who died were male. In addition, the number among African Americans increased more than among children and adolescents of other skin colors. From 2018 to 2020 alone, behavioral scientists observed a more than 16 percent increase in homicides among young black people.
According to the Trends in Homicide Rates study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, firearms are one of the leading causes of death in homicide, manslaughter and assault, which is now a leading cause of death among children and adolescents.
In 2020, the CDC data showed almost 48 percent more deaths from gun use than in 2019. The researchers referred to the social disadvantage of certain population groups. Poverty and a lack of play facilities and good schools prevailed in many neighborhoods where children and young people lived. African-American youth are “less likely to be perceived as childish or innocent” and less well protected, write Rebecca Wilson and her co-authors.
A study by the Council of Criminal Justice also counted 30 percent more homicides in large cities in 2020 than in 2019, regardless of individual age groups – partly because of social burdens such as the pandemic and tensions between the police and citizens.