disparities

INTRODUCTION
Geographic variation in homicide racial disparities in the United States has been evaluated primarily on a national, regional, or state-by-state basis1″ . Because of the heterogeneity of nationwide, regionwide, or statewide populations, it has been suggested that homicide be examined in smaller geographic areas. Counties may provide a compromise, as units are small enough to be homogeneous for demographic and environmental characteristics that might influence homicide risk, yet large enough for stable statistic analyses. Homicides were responsible for 59.1% of years of potential life lost, followed by pneumonia, vehicle accidents and other accidents. During the past decade, public health professionals, medical professionals, politicians, the public, those in the news media, criminal justice, and law enforcement all have expressed a growing concern regarding lethal violent crimes (homicide) committed by youths in the United States.

It is reported that homicide rates for persons 15 through 24 years old in the United States increased between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s. The United States has the highest homicide rate among all Western industrialized countries. Homicide is the 13th leading cause of death in the United States. For certain ages and minority groups, the burden of homicide is particularly great. For youth aged 15-24 years, homicide is the second leading cause of death and has been the leading cause of death for African Americans in this age group in the United States for over a decade. Homicide has imposed a significant burden on society in terms of years of potential life lost. Thirty-eight percent of all homicides in 1995 occurred among children and youths under 25 years of age. For an American, the lifetime chance of becoming a homicide victim is about 1 in 240 for whites but 1 in 47 for African Americans and other minorities.
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The objectives of this study were: 1. To study relationships among age groups 15-19-year-old (adolescents) and 20-24-year-old (young adults), race (white and African American), gender, and homicide in New Jersey’s 21 counties.
2. To study the correlation of homicide rate with urbanization index, education level, per-capita income, and population density in New Jersey’s 21 counties.
3. To compare New Jersey racial disparities in homicide with national disparities.
4. To identify the weapons used to commit homicide against youths in New Jersey.
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