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QuickStats: Number of Homicides Committed, by the Three Most Common Methods* — United States, 2010–2016


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The figure above is a line graph showing that during 2010–2016 the use of firearms was the most common homicide method in the United States, followed by the use of instruments for cutting and piercing and then suffocation. The number of firearm-related homicides was relatively stable during 2010–2014 (fluctuating between 11,008 and 11,622) but then increased by 31% from 2014 (11,008) to 2016 (14,415). In 2016, the number of homicides involving firearms was approximately eight times the number of those involving cutting and piercing (1,781) and approximately 30 times those involving suffocation (502).

* The three most common methods of homicide are based on numbers of deaths and are identified with International Classification of Disease, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes X93–X95, U01.4 (firearms), X99 (cutting/piercing), and X91 (suffocation).

During 2010–2016, use of firearms was the most common method in the United States, followed by the use of instruments for cutting and piercing and then suffocation. The number of firearm-related homicides was relatively stable during 2010–2014 (fluctuating between 11,008 and 11,622) but then increased by 31% from 2014 (11,008) to 2016 (14,415). In 2016, the number of homicides involving firearms was approximately eight times the number of those involving cutting and piercing (1,781) and approximately 30 times those involving suffocation (502).


Source: National Vital Statistics System, Underlying Cause of Death Data, 2000–2016. https://wonder.cdc.gov/ucd-icd10.html.


Reported by: Holly Pifer; Arialdi M. Minino, MPH, aminino@cdc.gov, 301-458-4376; Sally C. Curtin, MA; Hanyu Ni, PhD.

Suggested citation for this article: QuickStats: Number of Homicides Committed, by the Three Most Common Methods — United States, 2010–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:806. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6729a4.

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