The George Zimmerman trial has refocused the national dialogue on race relations in America. Last week, President Barack Obama weighed in, saying, "African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system... they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence." Is he correct?
Yes. A new study released by the CDC provides data on homicide rates among American youth (aged 10-24) by race/ethnicity. (See graph.)
Before analyzing this graph, it is worth noting that homicide disproportionately affects American youths. Murder is usually a top 3 leading cause of death in youths, but it is not in the top 10 for the American population as a whole. Specifically, the youth homicide rate in 2010 was 7.5 per 100,000, while thehomicide rate for the entire population was 5.3 per 100,000.
There is also a huge disparity in the youth homicide rate (per 100,000) between races in 2010: