The Age-Sex Pattern of Homicide Victims in Post-Katrina New Orleans

Dominique Meekers, Tulane University
Rebekah Leger, Tulane University

There has been a surge in the number of homicides in post-Katrina New Orleans. This high number of homicides is unexpected, considering that roughly half the population of New Orleans did not return to the city after hurricane Katrina. The exceptionally rapid increase in homicides has raised concerns that the city is experiencing a homicide “epidemic” that is affecting large sections of the population. Lacking accurate homicide rates for population subgroups, data on the age-sex structure of homicide victims may be able to help us better understand the surge in homicides. Demographers have long used population pyramids as a tool to graphically describe changes in the age-sex structure of populations. In this paper, we use population pyramids of homicide victims to illustrate that the recent increase in the number of homicides has not occurred across all population groups, but rather took place among a very narrow segment of young males.

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Presented in Poster Session 4