Natives top violent crime list again
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American Indians and Alaska Natives experienced the worst rate of violent crime in the nation in 2000, according to a Department of Justice study released on Sunday.

For the third year since the data has been reported, Native Americans were the victims of violence at rates far surpassing every racial and ethnic group. Based on statistics collected in a nationwide survey, Native men and women were victimized at a rate of 52.3 per 1,000.

This was twice as high as the rate reported by Hispanics (27.9 per 1,000) and Whites (26.5) and one and one-half times that of African-Americans (34.1) according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Native Americans were six more times likely to be a victim than Asian-Americans, the report stated.

But violence in Indian Country appears to be decreasing, according to the study. Between the years 1993 and 2000, the average annual victimization rate among Native Americans over the age of 12 was 105 per 1,000.

This represents a drop from data previously reported by the federal government. Between 1993 and 1998, the rate was 119 per 1,000.

Similarly, when the BJS in 1999 first reported on violence in Indian Country, the rate was slightly higher at 124 per 1,000. This figure covered the years 1992 to 1996.

Those injured from crimes showed a slight drop as well. From 1993 to 2000, 36 percent of Native American victims were hurt, a drop from 39.6 between 1992 and 1998.

Yet American Indians and Alaska Natives haven't seen the kind of decreases experience by the rest of the nation. For example, violent crime against Hispanics fell 56 percent during the same time frame, the study reported.

Native women also continued to experience violence at rates surpassing their counterparts. Native women were two and one-half times more likely to be victimized than White and Hispanic women, nearly twice as likely as African-American women and five and one-half times as likely as Asian women.

Simple assault topped the list of violence crimes in Indian Country, with 25.7 per 1,000 reported. This was followed by aggravated assault (16.3), rape and sexual assault (7.7) and robbery (2.6).

The rape statistic was the highest among all ethnic groups, according to the study. Native Americans were nearly 13 times more likely to be assaulted or raped than Hispanics, seven times more likely than Whites, five times more likely than African-Americans and 39 times more likely than Asian-Americans.

Crime among Natives was weighted heavily towards three age groups: 12 to 17, 18 to 24 and 25 to 34. Among older American Indians and Alaska Native, violence dropped dramatically.

Violence was also heavy among Native Americans whose income was reported to be less than $15,000. A spike, however, was shown among the $35,000 to $49,999 income bracket.

Urban Indians had a slightly higher rate of victimization (121.3 per 1,000) than their suburban counterparts (103.7). The rate among rural Natives was 70.8 per 1,000.

Overall, Native Americans experienced less than 1 percent of all total violent crimes in 2000. American Indians and Alaska Natives make up less than 1 percent of the population, according to recent Census Bureau figures.

Yesterday's statistics were contained in a report describing the drop in crime among Hispanics. Prior reports omitted data for Hispanic men and women.

Get the Study:
Hispanic Victims of Violent Crime, 1993-2000 (NCJ-191208 4/7)

Relevant Links:
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Department of Justice -

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