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Sources of Homicide Data
Sources of homicide data

Homicide is a statistically rare event. It occurs less frequently than other violent crimes, which are themselves uncommon. For example, in 1993, there were 24,456 murders in a population of 257,908,000 persons in the United States. This amounts to 0.00948% of the population being victims of a murder. In contrast, there were 1,135,099 victims of aggravated assault, the most common of other serious violent crimes, including robbery and rape; this figure represents 0.44%, or less than ½ of 1% of the population (Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI], 1994).

This comparison is not intended to minimize the substantial human, economic, and social costs associated with homicide. Instead, it is meant to suggest that homicide researchers operate under a severe constraint ...

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