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Number of women killed by homicide grew by 21 percent, says new study

The number of women who were victims of homicide in the United States grew by 21 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, rising to the highest recorded level since 2007, according to a new report shared with CBS News. The male homicide victim rate increased by 6.5 percent over the same time period.

In 2016, the most recent year for which data was available, 12.2 out of every 100,000 women were victims of homicide -- up from 10.2 out of every 100,000 in 2015, according to the report by, a San Diego-based research group.

Death by homicide among all genders increased by 8.8 percent from 2015 to 2016, according the report, which was compiled using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Multiple Causes of Death database.

Recent studies suggest that female homicide victims often die at the hands of men they know. More than half of the women who were murdered in 2017 worldwide were slain by an intimate partner or family member, according to the United Nations' recent Global Study on Homicide. Eighty-two percent of homicide victims targeted by intimate partners are women.

The report, however, doesn't outline the victims' relationships to their killers or possible reasons for the homicide rate increases.   

Overall when it came to homicides, men accounted for about three quarters of all homicide victims in the United States. Of the 19,362 homicides that the CDC reported in 2016, 3,895 of the victims were women, according to's report. Men were also much more likely to be perpetrators; men were the aggressors in nine out of ten homicides, according to the report.

All races saw a rise in homicide victim rates, but no increase was as dramatic as that seen for women across all races, according to the report. The number of black homicide victims rose by eight percent. The number of American Indian and Alaskan native victims rose by nine percent, and the number of caucasian victims increased by nine percent. Among Asians, including those from India, the rate grew by 16 percent.

The data shows that the numbers of caucasians and blacks who were killed in 2016 were roughly the same. But it also shows that homicide occurred more frequently among blacks. For every 100,000, 43.2 were victims of homicide in 2016, compared to 7.1 for every 100,000 caucasians, according to's report.

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