Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Health Indicator Report of Homicide

Violence is a major public health problem in the United States. Among persons aged 15 to 29 years of age, homicide is the second leading cause of death in New Jersey and third in the U.S.


This is Healthy New Jersey 2020 (HNJ2020) Objective IVP-1a.

Data Sources

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Compressed Mortality File. CDC WONDER On-line Database accessed at []
  • Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Population Estimates, State Data Center, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, []

Data Interpretation Issues

The homicides that occurred as a result of the events of September 11, 2001, have been excluded. Also, homicides due to legal intervention, which is the death of a person by a police officer in the line of duty, have been excluded.


Deaths where homicide is indicated as the underlying cause of death. Homicide is defined as death resulting from the intentional use of force or power, threatened or actual, against another person, group, or community. ICD-10 Codes: X85-Y09, Y87.1 (homicide)


Number of resident deaths due to homicide


Total number of persons in the population

Healthy People Objective: Reduce homicides

U.S. Target: 5.5 homicides per 100,000 population (age-adjusted)
State Target: 4.3 homicides per 100,000 population (age-adjusted)

Other Objectives

Objective IVP-1a: Reduce the age-adjusted mortality rate due to homicide per 100,000 standard population to 4.3 for the total population, 1.1 among Whites, 18.6 among Blacks, and 4.6 among Hispanics. Objective IVP-1b: Reduce the mortality rate due to homicide among 15 to 19 year old males per 100,000 population to 14.6 among all racial/ethnic groups, 70.6 among Blacks, and 13.9 among Hispanics. Objective IVP-1c: Reduce the mortality rate due to homicide among 20 to 34 year olds per 100,000 population to 12.1 among all those aged 20-34, 2.3 among Whites, 57.0 among Blacks, and 8.6 among Hispanics. Targets were not set for race/ethnicity, sex, and/or age groups with numbers of homicides too small to calculate reliable rates.

How Are We Doing?

In New Jersey, there are approximately 400 homicides per year. Homicide victims are predominantly male, accounting for over 80% of homicides in New Jersey. Firearms are used in two-thirds of homicides. The age-adjusted homicide rate in New Jersey has remained between 4 and 6 per 100,000 population for the past decade, and after declining steadily from 2006 to 2009, the rate is currently on the upswing. This is primarily due to a dramatic increase in homicides in urban settings, coinciding with increased drug trade. Homicide rates among one high-risk group (black males, ages 15-19), as identified in Healthy New Jersey (HNJ), have been decreasing since 2006, but there has been a corresponding uptick in homicide rates among black males, 20-34. These two groups are the main drivers of the statewide homicide rate.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

New Jersey's homicide rate is consistently lower than the national rate.

What Is Being Done?

The Governor's Study Commission on Violence released a report of recommendations to the Governor on ways to combat all types of violence from a public health perspective in October, 2015. The New Jersey Department of Health maintains the [ New Jersey Violent Death Reporting System] (NJVDRS), a CDC-funded surveillance system that tracks suicides, homicides, unintentional firearm deaths, injury deaths of undetermined intent, and deaths by legal intervention and is used to educate public health and public safety professionals in the state and inform their interventions and decision-making, with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence of violent deaths. NJVDRS is part of the [ National Violent Death Reporting System]. The New Jersey [ Child Fatality and Near-Fatality Review Board] and the New Jersey [ Domestic Violence Fatality and Near-Fatality Review Board] meet regularly to discuss possible systemic issues relating to incidents involving children and certain legally defined domestic relationships.

Available Services

New Jersey Department of Corrections, [ Office of Victim Services]: 1-800-996-2029 or 609-292-4036 x5299 New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Division on Women: *New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-572-SAFE (7233) *New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) Hotline: 1-800-601-7200 *Women's Referral Central Hotline: 1-800-322-8092

Health Program Information

The [ Center for Health Statistics] is a central source for injury statistics. Available data include emergency department data, inpatient hospitalization data, and mortality data.
Page Content Updated On 07/13/2017, Published on 10/02/2017
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Tue, 21 August 2018 10:15:06 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 23 May 2018 05:01:08 EDT