Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp e239–e244 | Cite as

Homicide mortality rates in Canada, 2000–2009: Youth at increased risk

  • C. Andrew Basham
  • Carolyn Snider
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: To estimate and compare Canadian homicide mortality rates (HMRs) and trends in HMRs across age groups, with a focus on trends for youth.

METHODS: Data for the period of 2000 to 2009 were collected from Statistics Canada’s CANSIM (Canadian Statistical Information Management) Table 102-0540 with the following ICD-10-CA coded external causes of death: X85 to Y09 (assault) and Y87.1 (sequelae of assault). Annual population counts from 2000 to 2009 were obtained from Statistics Canada’s CANSIM Table 051-0001. Both death and population counts were organized into five-year age groups. A random effects negative binomial regression analysis was conducted to estimate age group-specific rates, rate ratios, and trends in homicide mortality.

RESULTS: There were 9,878 homicide deaths in Canada during the study period. The increase in the overall homicide mortality rate (HMR) of 0.3% per year was not statistically significant (95% CI: −1.1% to +1.8%). Canadians aged 15–19 years and 20–24 years had the highest HMRs during the study period, and experienced statistically significant annual increases in their HMRs of 3% and 4% respectively (p < 0.05). A general, though not statistically significant, decrease in the HMR was observed for all age groups 50+ years. A fixed effects negative binomial regression model showed that the HMR for males was higher than for females over the study period [RRfemale/male = 0.473 (95% CI: 0.361, 0.621)], but no significant difference in sex-specific trends in the HMR was found.

CONCLUSION: An increasing risk of homicide mortality was identified among Canadian youth, ages 15–24, over the 10-year study period. Research that seeks to understand the reasons for the increased homicide risk facing Canada’s youth, and public policy responses to reduce this risk, are warranted.

Key Words

Homicide Canada violence adolescent 


OBJECTIF : Estimer et comparer les taux de mortalité par homicide (TMH) et les tendances des TMH dans les divers groupes d’âge au Canada, en particulier les tendances chez les jeunes.

MÉTHODE : Les données pour la période de 2000 à 2009 ont été recueillies dans le tableau 102-0540 du Système canadien d’information socioéconomique (CANSIM) de Statistique Canada avec les codes suivants de la CIM-10-CA pour les causes externes de mortalité: X85 à Y09 (agressions) et Y87.1 (séquelles d’agressions). Les chiffres annuels de population de 2000 à 2009 ont été obtenus dans le tableau CANSIM 051-0001 de Statistique Canada. Les chiffres de mortalité et de population ont été organisés en groupes d’âge de cinq ans. Nous avons effectué une analyse de régression binomiale négative à effets aléatoires pour estimer les taux par groupe d’âge, les ratios des taux et les tendances de la mortalité par homicide.

RÉSULTATS : Il y a eu 9 878 décès par homicide au Canada durant la période de l’étude. La hausse de 0,3 % par année du taux de mortalité par homicide (TMH) global n’était pas significative (IC de 95 %: −1,1 % à +1,8 %). Les Canadiens de 15 à 19 ans et de 20 à 24 ans ont eu les TMH les plus élevés durant la période de l’étude et ont présenté des hausses annuelles significatives de leurs TMH, soit de 3 % et de 4 % respectivement (p < 0,05). Une baisse générale mais non significative du TMH a été observée dans tous les groupes d’âge de 50 ans et plus. Un modèle de régression binomiale négative à effets fixes a montré que le TMH des hommes était supérieur à celui des femmes au cours de la période de l’étude [RTfemme/homme = 0,473 (IC de 95 %: 0,361–0,621)], mais aucun écart significatif sexospécifique n’a été constaté dans les tendances du TMH.

CONCLUSION : On a observé un risque croissant de mortalité par homicide chez les jeunes Canadiens de 15 à 24 ans au cours des 10 années de l’étude. Il serait justifié de pousser la recherche pour comprendre les raisons du risque accru d’homicide chez les jeunes au Canada et de réduire ce risque au moyen de politiques publiques.

Mots Clés

homicide Canada violence adolescent 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Children’s Hospital Research Institute of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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