Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Homicide: A Spatial Ecological Case-Control Study of US ZIP Codes


Homicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. A recent study featuring past PISC trainees Beidi Dong, PhD, and Christopher Morrison, PhD, evaluates the relationship between socioeconomic disadvantage and homicide. Median household incomes in ZIP codes with high homicide rates were compared to median household income in ZIP codes with low homicide rates. Additionally, all variables were measured at the state level. All data was drawn from 2017. Results indicate a strong association between low median household income and high homicide rates. Although the association is strongest within ZIP codes, it exists on the state level as well. Based on these results, the team concludes that “area-based interventions that improve absolute measures of neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage may reduce gaps in homicide rates.”


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