Perhaps not where you think. A new Centers for Disease Control report is out: “Violence-Related Firearm Deaths Among Residents of Metropolitan Areas and Cities — United States, 2006-2007.”
Notable patterns by geographic region were observed. All-ages firearm homicide rates generally were higher for MSAs in the Midwest (seven of 10 above the median MSA rate of 5.4 [per 100,000 inhabitants]) and South (13 of 21 above the median rate) than for MSAs in the Northeast (six of seven below the median rate) and West (eight of 12 below the median rate). All-ages firearm suicide rates were generally higher for MSAs in the South (15 of 21 at or above the median MSA rate of 6.3) than for MSAs in the Northeast (six of seven below the median rate), Midwest (six of 10 at or below the median rate), and West (seven of 12 below the median rate); the highest rates were concentrated in the South and West.
Keep in mind that the overall firearm homicide rate has fallen dramatically over the past 20 years. The current numbers are still too high, however, and the outliers are particularly troubling. New Orleans has a rate of 62.1, more than six times the median for cities; Detroit’s rate is 35.9.
The rate in Newark, N.J. is a horrendous 25.4. What about nearby New York City? Just 4.0.
The suicide numbers in the report are also interesting; we’ll have more to say on that in an upcoming hour-long Freakonomics Radio episode on the topic.