W.Va.'s Rate of Black Homicide Victims Third Highest in Nation

May 30, 2019

West Virginia has the third-highest rate of African American homicide victims in the nation, according to a study by the Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center (VPC), which released the study, is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury.

According to a press release, the VPC analyzed data from the FBI Supplementary Homicide Report. VPC's analysis found West Virginia has the third-highest rate of black homicide victims in the country.

The state had 24 deaths of black people in 2016, the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available. The VPC compared the number of deaths to the population of African Americans in each state.

African Americans make up a relatively small portion of West Virginia’s population, just over three percent, but the study found the percentage of those in the black community who were killed is higher than the national average. The rate in West Virginia is nearly twice the national black homicide rate.

All of the 24 deaths in 2016 in West Virginia were due to gun violence.

According to the report, about 13 percent of the nation’s population is black, but more than half of all homicide victims are black.