For the fourth time in five years, Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victims, a national study using the most recent data available shows.
The state’s 2012 rate — 34.98 homicides per 100,000 black residents — was nearly twice the national rate, according to the study released by the Violence Policy Center in Washington.
Nationally, the black homicide rate was 18.03 per 100,000, or four times the rate for victims of all races.
In the study released last year, Missouri ranked second to Nebraska. In the most recent study, Nebraska was second with a rate of 34.93 per 100,000.
Eighty-seven percent of Missouri’s black homicide victims were killed with firearms. Nationwide, 84 percent were.
The study also reported that 207 of the state’s 247 black victims were male and about 9 percent of the black victims were younger than 18. The average age of black victims was 29.
Kansas reported 28 black homicide victims in 2012, which put the state 21st with a rate of 15.66 per 100,000 black residents.
This was the ninth year the center has released the study, which is based on unpublished FBI data.