According to a new report by the Violence Policy Center, homicide was the second leading cause of death for people aged 10 to 24 in California in 2007, the latest year for which complete figures are available. (The first is accidental injuries, like car crashes.) For African-American young adults, homicide was the number one cause of death. The report, “Lost Youth” also includes other surprising numbers:
- U.S. youth have a homicide rate 14 times higher and a firearm homicide rate 42 times higher than kids in other wealthy countries.
- In 2008, 10.2 percent of 14- to 17-year-olds had witnessed a shooting in the past year; 22.2 percent of the same group had witnessed a shooting in their lifetimes.
- According to 2009 data, Alameda County has the second highest youth homicide rate in California at 20.69 per 100,000 people. Monterey County is first, Kern County second, and Contra Costa County is fourth. San Francisco is 11th.
- In 2009, out of 803 homicide victims aged 10-24, 90 percent were Black and 90 percent were male. And 82 percent were not related to any other crime (of those where circumstances are known).
- The most common location for a homicide is a street, sidewalk, or parking lot.
- California has the 9th highest youth homicide rate in the country.