Home Crime in the U.S. 2016 Crime in the U.S. 2016 Topic Pages Expanded Homicide

Expanded Homicide

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Data collection

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program collects supplementary homicide data that provide the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of the murder victim and offender; the type of weapon used; the relationship of the victim to the offender; and the circumstance surrounding the incident. Statistics gleaned from these supplemental data are provided in this section.

This section also includes information about justifiable homicide—certain willful killings that must be reported as justifiable or excusable. In the UCR Program, justifiable homicide is defined as and limited to:

  • The killing of a felon by a peace officer in the line of duty.
  • The killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.

Because these killings are determined through law enforcement investigation to be justifiable, they are tabulated separately from murder and nonnegligent manslaughter. Justifiable homicide information can be found in Expanded Homicide Data Table 5, “Justifiable Homicide, by Weapon, Law Enforcement, 2012–2016” and Expanded Homicide Data Table 6, “Justifiable Homicide, by Weapon, Private Citizen, 2012–2016.”

Overview

  • In 2016, most (78.4 percent) of the 15,070 murder victims for whom supplemental data were received were male. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 1.)
  • When the race of the offender was known, 53.5 percent were Black or African American, 43.9 percent were White, and 2.6 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 5,574 offenders. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2.)
  • Seventy-three percent of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data in 2016 involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 64.6 percent of the firearms used in murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents in 2016. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 4.)
  • Law enforcement reported 766 justifiable homicides in 2016. Of those, law enforcement officers justifiably killed 435 felons, and private citizens justifiably killed 331 people during the commission of crimes. (See Expanded Homicide Data Tables 5 and 6.)

What you won't find on this page

  • The estimated number of murders known to law enforcement.

  • Clearance and arrest data for murder.

Expanded Homicide Data Tables

The following tables were compiled using information from the Supplementary Homicide Data:

Expanded Homicide Data Table 1
Expanded Homicide Data Table 2
Expanded Homicide Data Table 3
Expanded Homicide Data Table 4
Expanded Homicide Data Table 5
Expanded Homicide Data Table 6
Table 12