Gun killings in the United States hit their highest level in 25 years during the Covid pandemic, CDC says

Gun killings in the United States reached their highest level in more than 25 years during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gun killings increased 35 percent during the first year of the pandemic to the highest level since 1994, according to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report released Tuesday. The rate of gun deaths increased to 6.1 per 100,000 people in 2020 compared to 4.6 per 100,000 in 2019.

Excluding suicides, more than 19,000 people were killed by firearms in 2020 compared to more than 14,000 the previous year, according to the CDC report. Murders of gun violence have increased among people of all ages, in most racial groups, for men and women, in cities and rural areas, and in every region of the nation.

Black Americans suffered the most with the murder rate from gun violence rising nearly 40 percent to 26.6 per 100,000 people, about 12 times the rate among white Americans. The disparity was even greater among boys, with the rate of homicides with firearms 21.6 times higher among black males between the ages of 10 and 24 compared to white males of the same age.

Gun killings increased 27% to 8.1 per 100,000 people among Native Americans, nearly 26% among Hispanics to 4.5 per 100,000, and about 28% among whites to 2.2 per 100,000 . The rate of firearm homicides decreased by 4.2% among Asian Americans per 100,000 individuals.

Separately, suicides involving a firearm increased 1.5 percent to 8.1 per 100,000 people during the first year of the pandemic. The gun suicide rate was the highest among whites at 10.4 per 100,000 people and Native Americans at 10.9 per 100,000.

In the United States, 79% of homicides of 53% of suicides involved firearms in 2020, according to the CDC.

According to the study, gun killings and suicides were closely associated with poverty. US counties with the highest poverty rates suffered gun killings and suicide rates that were 4.5 and 1.3 times higher than counties with the lowest poverty levels. Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans were more likely to live in counties with higher poverty rates, according to the CDC.

Although the study did not investigate the reasons for the dramatic increase in gun killings, the CDC said the pandemic may have played a role in disrupting social services, schools, jobs, housing and increased isolation. social.

CNBC Health and Science

Read CNBC’s latest global coverage on the Covid pandemic: