Gun violence spiked in 2020; highest among young, males, Black people

DENVER (KDVR) — The pandemic year of 2020 ushered in a new era of violence.

The national firearm homicide rate in 2020 was its highest since 1994, according to the latest morbidity and mortality report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate rose 34.6% over 2019, with wide gaps between the rates of different ethnic and age groups. Suicide rates stayed relatively level, though similar disparities exist between age and racial groups.

Firearm homicides rose most among the young, males and Black people.

The rate of firearm homicides was highest among non-Hispanic Black people. In 2020, it rose 39.5%, the highest among racial and ethnic groups.

Firearm suicide rates are highest among non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives. Rates for white people stayed level, while rates spiked in 2020 for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Firearm homicide rates were highest in the younger age groups.

The teenage age bracket had the second-largest overall rate of firearm homicide, but the largest increase in rate from 2019 to 2020.

Rates were highest among the 25-44 age group at 2.8 firearm homicides per 100,000 people. The younger age group of 10-24-year-olds experienced the sharpest increase in rates in 2020, rising 38.5% from 2019.

The youngest age group also saw the sharpest rise in suicide rates, although it is still the lowest overall rate of all age groups.

Between 2019 and 2020, the firearm suicide rate among 10-24-year-olds rose 14.7%, the largest increase. Suicide rates rise as age rises, with the rate of suicides among 65-year-olds and oldest nearly three times that of youths.

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