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by Peter Moskos

August 26, 2017

Too much to bear

Back when I wrote Cop in the Hood, I was horrified to figure out that 11.6 percent of men in the Eastern District were being murdered (see the footnote on pp. 219-222).

[Updated to include 2018 data and more accurate population figures.]

From 2015 through 2018, 226 people were murdered in Baltimore's Western District. 145 were black men age 18 to 34. 36.25/year. This is about twice as high as the pre-2015 rate. There are approximately 7,226 black men aged 18 to 34 in the Western District. (And a total population of 47,600. So the annual homicide rate for 18-to-34-year-old men in the Western District over the past four-years is 419 per 100,000. (The national homicide rate is now about 6 per 100,000; Baltimore's is 50.)

What does a murder rate of 419 mean? Well, here's a survival function:
1 - (1 - r)^x
r is the death rate and x is number of years. The death rate is 1 in 239 or .0042. The number of years from 18 to 34 is 17.

So 1 - (1-.0042)^17 =0.069.
This means that if homicide levels don't drop, a 17-year-old man in the Western District today will have a 7 percent chance of being murdered before he reaches the age of 34. And since about one-third of murders in Baltimore happen to those 35 and over, approximately a 10 percent lifetime chance.

One-in-ten men murdered?! I don't know what else to say.

[I thought of some things to say in my next post.]


best essay writing company said...

Racism and hatred against Black community leading to unjust death and murders is an old story. We do have come a long way from where we used to be but there's still so much more capacity for improvement

Anonymous said...

Those numbers are staggering and scary. I am betting that they are even more terrifying for someone who lives in a rough part of town. I can only imagine what those rates might be like in 5 years from now if the community and police do not find an effective way to work together in reducing crime rates.