Murder Most Swedish

How is the U.S. like Sweden? In its low murder rate. That is, if you include in the statistics only non-blacks in the U.S. legally.

In 2011, the latest year for which the FBI has published statistics, there were 14,612 cases of "murder and nonnegligent manslaughter "in the U.S. That equates to a rate of 4.7 per 100,000 inhabitants. That rate of 4.7 is about average over all countries in the world, but it is high for advanced countries such as those of northern and western Europe. The most recent rates for the UK and France, for examples, are 1.2 and 1.1, respectively.

The U.S. rate of 4.7 is what makes so many people think of the U.S. as a violent place full of guns and gun-crazy cowboys. (Venezuela's rate, by contrast, is 45 per 100,000. It must be those Llaneros.)

The FBI also has some data on the demographics of who commits these murders. According to the FBI's Expanded Homicide Data Table 3, the race of the "offender" was known in 10,471 cases. Blacks accounted for 5,486 of them, or 52%.

If that rate holds up for all murders in the U.S., blacks committed 7,656 of those 14,612 murders in 2011.

But there's more. Illegal aliens commit a large number of murders. The statistics are harder to come by for illegal aliens, but in 2011 the Government Accountability Office estimated that 25,064 criminal aliens had been arrested for murder. There are two things we don't know about that number: (1) over how many years, and (2) how many murders were committed by criminal aliens who were not arrested for it?

Via World Net Daily, "Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa." That amounts to 4,380 per year. That number is not out of line with the GAO's number, given that not all murderers are arrested and given that the arrests reported by the GAO occurred over a number of years.

So let's do the arithmetic: of the 14,612 murders in the U.S. in 2011, about 7,656 were committed by blacks and another 4,380 were committed by illegal aliens. That leaves 2,576 committed by non-black people who are here legally.

In round numbers, there are about 250 million non-blacks in the U.S. legally. So their murder rate is about 1.0 per 100,000, or the same as Sweden's.

A murder rate of 1.0 is in the same league as the Europeans who like to call us gun-crazy cowboys. But it's not the "cowboys" who are doing the killing.

(In fact, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming have murder rates significantly lower than the U.S. average. Texas itself is close to average. Illinois, the last state to allow concealed carry and the only state to require a special ID to purchase either guns or ammunition, has an above average rate.)

Peter Baldwin is a professor of history at UCLA. I'm pretty sure he's no racist. If he is, he's a racist who gets published by the Huffington Post. He wrote a book called The Narcissism of Minor Differences which demonstrates that the U.S. is really not much different from Europe. Buried in his book is this little nugget.

"Take out the black underclass from the statistics, and even American murder rates fall to European levels."

Actually, he was a bit unfair to the black underclass. He should have included the illegal alien underclass as well.

To all the people so concerned about the murder rate in this country (which was actually historically low in 2011), you know where to look. But a "nation of cowards" is just too afraid to look there.

(By the way, please spare me any "Hoven thinks all blacks are murderers" talk. The statistics say that 99.98% of blacks did not commit murder in 2011. When looking at murderers, we are looking at a very tiny slice of the population, regardless of race. It is unwise to extrapolate much of anything about a population based on how 0.02% of it behaves.)

Randall Hoven can be followed on Twitter or