Murder? Homicide Rate Hits 30-Year Low Among 10-24 Yr Olds

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 12, 2013 | 3:23 PM EDT

Florida Department of Law Enforcement firearms expert Amy Siewert testifying in the George Zimmerman trial. (AP Photo/Jacob Langston)

( - While the Florida trial that is weighing the question of whether 29-year-old George Zimmerman committed second-degree murder, manslaughter, or is not guilty of a crime in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has dominated the media in recent days, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released a study revealing that the homicide rate among Americans in the 10- to 24-year-old age group hit a 30-year low in 2010, the most recent year in the study.

“The homicide rate among persons aged 10-24 years in 2010 was 7.5 percent per 100,000, the lowest in the 30-year study period,” said the report published in the July 12 edition of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The study also looked at the homicide rates for 10- to 24-year-olds in four different ethnic groups—non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic peoples of other races or ethnicities—and discovered that the homicide rate has been dropping across the board.

“Model-estimated rates indicate a decline for all four racial/ethnic groups,” said the report.

The study found that the homicide rate among 10- to 24-year-olds went up from 1985 to 1993, but then started a long downward trend beginning in 1994.

“The overall homicide rate among persons aged 10-24 years varied substantially during the 30-year study period,” said the report. “Rates rose sharply from 1985 to 1993, increasing 83 percent from 8.7 per 100,000 in 1985 to 15.9 in 1993. From 1994 to 1999, the overall rate declined 41 percent from 15.2 per 100,000 in 1994 to 8.9  in 1999. Modeled rates indicate a slow but statistically significant downward trend in homicide in this age group for the period 2000-2010, with model-estimated decline of approximately 1 percent per year.”

The bottom line: An American who is 10 to 24 years old was less likely to be murdered in 2010 than at any time in the 29 years before that.