Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Rank, rate, percent and number

When reading statistics, watch the terms. Rank, rate, number, percent. For instance, Alaska RANKS 4th in the nation for black homicides. Wow. The RATE of homicide for blacks in Alaska is 29.22 per 100,000 (the national homicide rate is 4.62; 2.67 for white Americans). Must be a very violent place, that Alaska! In most states many fewer women are lost to this violence (about 12%), but in Alaska it's over 37 PERCENT. However, in NUMBERS only eight blacks were killed, 5 men and 3 women. 100% were killed by someone they knew, and 50% of those deaths were because of an argument. (2015 statistics from Violence Policy Center, April 2018, p. 3, state rankings)
I checked 4 sources--each had different figures for black male homicides. But I did see one in VPC that reported of the 7,014 black homicides, 121 were killed by law enforcement--of those where a relationship between victim and assailant could be determined, 75% were killed by someone they knew. Which is more likely to be breathlessly reported for days on the news, followed by a trial and protests?

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