skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201169 Find in a Library
Title: Deadly Demographics: Population Characteristics and Forecasting Homicide Trends
Journal: Crime & Delinquency  Volume:49  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:339-359
Author(s): James Alan Fox; Alex R. Piquero
Editor(s): Ronald E. Vogel
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined demographics and how they could be used to forecast future crime trends, specifically homicide.
Abstract: For years, the study of homicide has held a long-standing interest among academics, policymakers, and concerned citizens, especially in the United States where homicide rates exceed those in other industrialized nations. One important contributor to this trend is the demographic change with shifts in age, race, and gender mix of the population. To assess the extent to which demographic change accounted for the massive drop in homicide rates occurring in the 1990's, this study uses data from the Supplementary Homicide Reports from 1976 through 1999. The study began by setting out to highlight the importance of studying the role that demographics play in relation to crime trends in general. Then, it provided information on how changes in demographic characteristics related to changes in homicide rates. Lastly, estimates were presented on the changing demographics of the United States population and a preliminary forecast of homicide-offending rates through the first part of the 21st century. The analysis arrived at three key conclusions: (1) about 10 percent of the 1990's decline in crime was due to demographics; (2) it appears that the age-specific downturns have plateaued, meaning that the crime drop may soon be over; and (3) although the homicide rate may continue to decline, there is a youth crime issue that is hidden in the overall aggregate trend. These types of forecasting exercises serve a useful purpose for scholars, policymakers, and citizens thinking about the future of homicide in the United States. Figures and references
Main Term(s): Homicide
Index Term(s): Crime analysis; Crime patterns; Demographic analysis of crime; Demography; Future trends; Homicide causes; Homicide trends
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.