What are the White homicide rates by U.S. state? Steve Sailer wonders. It is trickier than you’d think: The U.S. government does not separate Hispanics from Whites for purposes of counting crime. Hispanics commit more murders, and this inflates the apparent ‘White’ murder rate.
One Sailer commenter, who uses the handle “Perspective”, provides a link to 1960 data, which I reproduce in table form below.
Usefuless of 1960 Data
Using 1960 data greatly mitigates the ‘Hispanic inflation’ problem that befuddles inquiry into White crime rates today. The USA was less than 4% Hispanic in 1960, with most then concentrated in the states bordering Mexico. Most states’ White murder-rate figures for 1960 will not be affected at all by ‘Hispanic inflation’. This may be as clear a view as we’ll get of “murder rates for Whites by state”. Upper-Midwest and New-England Whites are amazingly peaceful.
Comparisons to Today
Audacious Epigone attempted to calculate White murder rates by state in the 2000s. With caveats that these are not apple-to-apple comparisons (methods of data collection/reporting may differ, and the Hispanic-Inflation issue, and the trickier but fascinating issue of advances in trauma medicine 1960-2010, see the discussion about trauma medicine in “Observations”, below) here is a table of the data from 1960, along with AE’s for the 2000s.
The table is ranked from the states with most-dangerous Whites in 1960 to the state with the least-dangerous Whites in 1960. Below the table are some observations, analysis, and thoughts.
White Murder Rates By State, 1960
|White Murder Rate in 1960
(White homicides per 100k Whites) (CDC)
Rate, 2000s (Epigone)
|3||Nex Mexico||5.8||6.6 (+1.0)|
|9||South Carolina||4.4||3.5 (-0.9)|
|11||North Carolina||4.1||2.9 (-1.2)|
|12||District of Columbia||4.1||12.4 (+8.3)|
|17||West Virginia||3.7||3.1 (-0.6)|
|–||USA Whites Overall||2.7||???|
|28||Washington state||2.2||2.4 (+0.2)|
|32||New York||2.0||2.4 (+0.4)|
|40||South Dakota||1.4||1.2 (-0.2)|
|42||New Jersey||1.4||2.3 (+0.9)|
|44||Rhode Island||1.3||1.8 (+0.5)|
|46||New Hampshire||1.2||0.9 (-0.3)|
|51||North Dakota||0.8||1.2 (+0.4)|
Data Source: Thanks to a Steve Sailer commenter named “Perspective” for the PDF. The document is called “Homicide in the United States, 1950-1964” (published in 1967 by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare). Data is from Table 2, which is page 19 of the PDF (marked as p.14 on the original document).
– What do the Japan of 1960 and the White-America of 1960 have in common? Among other things, perhaps, their murder-rates, which were almost exactly the same in 1960. (White-Americans: 2.7, Japan: 2.8). Japan’s has since declined to ~1.0, where it has been for the past twenty years.
– Hispanic-Inflation of the 2000s figures from Audacious Epigone. Hispanic-Inflation is apparent and significant in many states in AE’s data, especially California. It is not realistic to believe that California Whites have gotten so much more prone to murder since 1960. Is it? The same for Arizona and New Mexico? All are states with soaring Hispanic populations. The government data AE uses, then, is a bit ‘corrupt’ (not trustworthy) for our purposes, except for places like Vermont, which have no Hispanic population.
– Wild West Legacy: The top of the 1960 list is dominated by then-new states, in which that rugged settler spirit was not yet a distant memory. Alaska (49th state admitted), Arizona (48th state), and New Mexico (47th state) rank highly, along with Nevada (essentially a sparsely-settled wasteland before the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s — How much of Nevada’s murder rate emanates from Las Vegas would be interesting to know). Arizona, we will recall, in 1960 produced the ‘extremist’ libertarian-conservative Barry Goldwater for president; Arizona in 2008 produced the luekwarm loser McCain.
– Does a Wild West Legacy Live On into the 2010s? I have no idea. The numbers are now significantly inflated by Hispanics in most of these states. In Alaska’s case, the legacy still lives on but has faded substantially. Alaska is now 6% Hispanic, probably not enough to skew the numbers much. Its White murder-rate was #1 in 1960, and is down to #8 in AE’s analysis. Its per capita rate has nearly been cut in half since 1960.
– Are White-Americans more violent than their racial cousins in Europe? Michael Moore’s 2002 documentary, “Bowling for Columbine”, in synopsis by Steve Sailer: “Racist white rednecks in the sticks want guns because they have [unfounded] racist fears of urban blacks”. The USA’s overall murder rate has been an order of magnitude or more higher than other Western nations’ for a long time, due of Nonwhite crime. However, even American-Whites commit more murders than the English do. In 1960, U.S.-Whites committed 2.7 murders per 100,000 population, while Nonwhites committed 25.5. England’s rate was reportedly 0.6 in 1960, a figure seen only in the safest of American states. All but five of our states at least doubled that rate, and 37 tripled it or more. About half quadrupled it, and our states with the most dangerous Whites in 1960 were ten-times as likely to commit murder than English Whites of 1960. Maybe the better question is, why was 1950s England so safe?
– Have We Gotten More Peaceful? Or, “The Dramatic Advances in Trauma Medicine” Many states not afflicted by Hispanic-Inflation saw declines in their murder-rates. Does this mean we are getting more peaceful, generally? The excellent blogger Jehu, at Chariot of Reaction, has frequently made the point that “a point in the murder-rate isn’t what it used to be”. Advances in medicine mean that many more people now survive assaults. In the past, victims died at higher rates, resulting in higher “murder” rates. Jehu implies that accounting for improved treatment should greatly influence our view of whether levels of violence has declined or gone up. See his post The Homicide Narrative. See especially this graphic on the lethality of assault by year, and this one applying those numbers to the homicide rate: the top line is what the homicide rates would be if keeping steady the death-rates-from-assault that held in 1960. This means that, if levels of violent assault held exactly even across time, the “murder-rate” of 2010 would be ~33% its 1960 level; the other victims of violence would all survive today, the research says. Has this expected decline occurred among Whites? No. Even in states in which Hispanic-Inflation is not a factor in AE’s 2000s numbers, this has not occurred. Whites of today do seem to be more violent than their parents or grandparents were in 1960, but not by very much. By how much? 2.7/3=0.9, so, applying this parameter, the White rate ought to be 0.9 today if the level of violence were the same. Hispanic-inflation makes it hard to say what White-America’s true murder-rate is, but it seems White-Americans are probably a bit more than twice as prone to murder today as they were in 1960. However, one could argue that the improvements in access to and quality of trauma medicine have more substantially benefited Nonwhites (a reasonably assumption). Let’s say that, to account for the relatively-lesser gains in improved trauma medicine attained by Whites since 1960, we’d expect 66% (rather than 33%) of 1960’s murder-rate for the 2000s given an equal level of violence. In this case, the White “violence rate” has actually maintained steady in some states, has increased in others, not even considering those with obvious Hispanic inflation. This is now straying into the realm of conjecture, though, so I’ll move on.
– The Age Factor — Young men commit the lion’s share of a society’s murders. That has been true probably for all of human history. A society with a bigger share of its people being young men will have more murders. As a society ages and there are relatively fewer young men, won’t its murder rate “per 100,000 population” necessarily go down? What is the share of the White population which is male age 18 to 45 in 1960 vs. 2010? If the share of young-men is lower in 2010 than it was in 1960 (it must be), the murder-rate should be expected to be lower, too. If it isn’t, it means society is actually slightly more dangerous.