Differences in teen homicide, suicide, and firearm deaths, by race and Hispanic origin*
Reflecting a history of systemic racism and poverty that has had many negative effects on their communities, black and Hispanic teens are much more likely than white teens to be exposed to violence, including fatal violence., In 2017, the homicide rate for black male teens was 58.9 per 100,000 population, almost 16 times higher than the rate among non-Hispanic white male teens. Rates for males in other groups were 12.8 per 100,000 for Hispanics, 12.0 per 100,000 for American Indians, and 2.9** per 100,000 for Asian or Pacific Islanders.
Among females, black and Hispanic teens had the highest homicide rates in 2017, at 6.8 and 2.6 per 100,000, respectively, followed by 1.1 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic white and American Indians, and 0.6* for Asian or Pacific Islanders (Appendix 1).
Firearm deaths—which account for the majority of teen homicides and suicides, but also include accidental deaths—were highest in 2017 among black teens (64.5 per 100,000 males, and 7.0 per 100,000 females), and lowest among Asian or Pacific Islander teens (5.9 per 100,000 males, and 1.2* per 100,000 females).
In 2017, rates of suicide among male teens were highest among American Indians (28.8 per 100,000) and non-Hispanic whites (22.0 per 100,000), followed by Hispanics (12.5), Asian or Pacific Islanders (11.6), and blacks (11.1). Among females, American Indian teens had the highest rate at 10.2** per 100,000, followed by non-Hispanic white teens at 5.8, and Asian or Pacific Islander teens at 5.2 (Appendix 1).
*Hispanic youth may be of any race. Estimates for white youth in this report do not include Hispanic youth.
**Note: These estimates should be interpreted with caution, as they are based on 20 or fewer deaths and may be unstable