Homicide in Canada, 2014: highlights

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  • Police reported 516 homicides in Canada in 2014, four more than the previous year. The homicide rate remained stable in 2014 (1.45 per 100,000 population) making 2013 and 2014 the years with the lowest homicide rates since 1966.
  • Six provinces and territories (Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut) reported a year-over-year decline in their homicide rate in 2014. Newfoundland and Labrador reported the lowest homicide rate among provinces (0.38 per 100,000 population). Despite reporting a decline in 2014, Manitoba continued to report the highest homicide rate among the provinces (3.43 per 100,000 population).
  • Among Canada's 34 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), 14 reported a decline in their homicide rate in 2014 from the previous year, while 6 remained unchanged. With an above average number of homicides in 2014 (8 more than the previous year), Thunder Bay reported the highest homicide rate among the CMAs (9.04 per 100,000 population), followed by Winnipeg (3.29 per 100,000 population). Saguenay, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Oshawa and Brantford reported no homicides in 2014.
  • Police reported 156 firearm-related homicides in 2014, 21 more than in 2013. As such, the rate of firearm-related homicides increased by 14% to 0.44 per 100,000 population. Despite the increase, the rate of firearm-related homicides was the second lowest ever recorded since data became available in 1974.
  • In 2014, the number (84) and rate (0.24 per 100,000 population) of gang-related homicides reached its lowest level since 2005.
  • As has been the pattern in previous years, most solved homicides in 2014 were committed by someone known to the victim (83%). In 2014, victims were most often killed by an acquaintance (37%) or a family member (34%), including current or ex-spouses. In addition, victims were killed within other intimate relationships (5%) or by persons known through criminal relationships (6%).
  • In 2014, the rate of intimate partner homicides, meaning homicides committed by a current or former legally married or common-law spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend or other intimate relationship, was four times greater for females than for males (0.44 per 100,000 females aged 15 and over versus 0.11 for males aged 15 and over). In total, there were 83 intimate partner homicides in Canada in 2014, 11 more than in 2013.
  • There were 25 homicides committed by youth in 2014, 15 fewer than in 2013. The rate of homicide committed by youth decreased by 36% to 1.07 per 100,000 population, the lowest rate since 1969.
  • There were 88 individuals suspected of having a mental or developmental disorder accused of homicide in 2014. This represented 22% of all accused persons, a proportion that was higher than in 2013 (18%) and above the average for the previous 10 years (15%).
  • In 2014, close to one quarter (23%) of homicide victims were Aboriginal and about three quarters (74%) were non-Aboriginal. For the remaining 3% of victims of homicide, their Aboriginal identity was reported by police as unknown. Aboriginal people account for close to 5% of the projected Canadian population in that year.
  • The homicide rate among Aboriginal people was 6 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal people (7.20 per 100,000 population compared to 1.13 per 100,000).
  • Aboriginal males were victims of homicide at a rate 7 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal males (10.86 per 100,000 population versus 1.61). Among Aboriginal females, the rate was 6 times higher than for non-Aboriginal females (3.64 per 100,000 versus 0.65).
  • Of the 431 persons accused of homicides in 2014, one third (32%) were Aboriginal people and close to two thirds (65%) were non-Aboriginal people. For the remaining 3% of persons accused of homicide, the Aboriginal identity as reported by police was unknown.
  • Aboriginal people were accused of homicide at a rate 10 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal people (8.55 accused of homicide per 100,000 population compared to 0.82).
  • In 2014, there were 28 Aboriginal females and 25 non-Aboriginal females accused of homicide. The rate of Aboriginal females accused of homicide, however, was 23 times higher than the rate of non-Aboriginal female accused (3.39 per 100,000 compared to 0.15). The rate of Aboriginal male accused was 9 times higher than their non-Aboriginal counterparts (13.86 accused per 100,000 compared to 1.51).
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