WASHINGTON–The CDC says homicides went up 35 percent across the country between 2019 and 2020, the last year for which data was available. The Centers for Disease control says that’s the highest firearm homicide rate in 25 years.
Cities like Indianapolis and Ft. Wayne and South Bend, the largest in Indiana, also experienced a proportionate increase, with 2021 being the record year for Indy.
Counties with higher poverty rates had higher homicide rates, said the report.
Firearm homicide rates are consistently highest among males, adolescents, young adults, and non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native people, said a news release from the CDC. The rate of homicies increased across all age groups, but the highest increases were in young people, age 10 to 44, said the report released this week.
The CDC reports showed:
Rates increased for both males and females, but more notably among males.
The highest rates and increases occurred among non-Hispanic Black persons.
Rates increased across the country in large and small metro areas, as well as non-metro and rural areas.
Rates were higher and showed larger increases in counties with higher poverty levels.
“The tragic and historic increase in firearm homicide and the persistently high rates of firearm suicide underscore the urgent need for action to reduce firearm-related injuries and deaths,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. “By addressing factors contributing to homicide and suicide and providing support to communities, we can help stop violence now and in the future.”
The report suggests mental stress, job loss, social isolation and disruption to services were contributing factors to the increases.
The report also suggests ways to slow the homicide rates, including governmental policy adjustments and interventions from health professionals who see violence as possibility while treating patients.