Nebraska, known for its large agricultural industry, has surprisingly claimed the top spot as the state with the highest incidence of Black murder victims, according to newly published research.
Analysis by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) shows Nebraska has the highest Black homicide rates for 2011, the most recent year for which comprehensive national data is available. Nebraska, which has a population of approximately 1.8 million people, led the nation with a Black homicide victimization rate of 34.43 per 100,000. The state’s No.1 ranking topples more obvious places like Michigan, which ranks third on the top 10 list and Pennsylvania that comes in at forth place.
“The figures are surprising because most people think of Nebraska as a White state,” says VPC executive director Josh Sugarmann. “But the majority of the killings are in Nebraska’s largest city, Omaha.” Omaha, a city of 420,000 people, accounts for the overwhelming majority of Black homicides in Nebraska. Thirty African Americans were murdered in Nebraska in 2011, and based on police reporting 27 were killed in Omaha.