If I see a statistic of homicide-related deaths per 100,000 is that per 100,000 deaths therefore giving an expected probability of death when dividing one by the other? or is it deaths by homicide per 100,000 people per period of time (like annually or something) giving a smaller figure because of all the people who didn't die?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In general demographic statistics that are quoted "per thousand"/"per 100,000"/"per million" [people], are a) out of the general population, and b) annually, unless it says otherwise. (This allows easy direct comparison between countries/regions/groups etc. If not, if they depended on some intermediate quantity like "deaths per 100,000", they wouldn't be very useful statistics.) $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 1:27

1 Answer 1


It is per 100,000 people in the population per period of time, not per 100,000 deaths.

In the United States in 2016 there were 17,250 murders, 2,744,248 deaths, and ~322,747,241 people, with an officially-reported rate per 100,000 people of 5.3. If it was murders per deaths the rate would be (17,250*100,000/2,744,248) = 629. Calculating it per 100,000 people (17,250*100,000/322,747,241) gives the same number as reported by the FBI, 5.3.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it standard for that period of time to be annually when not specified? $\endgroup$
    – ajax2112
    Commented May 12, 2019 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, all the examples I've seen are annual. $\endgroup$
    – Emily
    Commented May 12, 2019 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ While I agree with this answer, I think it is better practice for anyone reporting these values to clearly mention what statistic is being reported. $\endgroup$ Commented May 14, 2019 at 2:58

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