Nunavut leads Canada in per capita homicide rate: StatsCan

Per person homicide rate in Nunavut more than 12 times higher than Canada’s rate


Nunavut’s per capita homicide rate is more than 12 times higher than that of Canada and more than three times higher than that of the Northwest Territories.

That’s according to a Statistics Canada report released Dec. 4.

(The term “per capita” essentially means “per person” and is used to represent and measure how often a certain thing happens within a given population over a fixed period of time.)

In 2011 there were 598 homicides overall in Canada, for a rate of 1.73 homicides for every 100,000 residents

In Nunavut there were seven homicides, but given the smaller population of of the territory, this produces a much higher per capita homicide rate: 21.01.

That’s up from 2010, when Nunavut suffered six homicides, with a corresponding homicide rate of 18.27 per 100,000.

Despite annual fluctuations, the homicide rate in Canada has remained relatively stable over the past decade, Statistics Canada say.

Previous to this year, it had generally been in decline since the mid-1970s.

An increase in stabbings accounted for virtually the entire increase of 44 in homicides between 2010 and 2011. In Canada, there were 39 more stabbings in 2011 than in 2010.

Overall, stabbings accounted for 35 per cent of homicides, firearms for 27 per cent, beatings for 22 per cent and strangulation for seven per cent, Statistics Canada said.

Most homicide victims and those accused of homicide are male, StatsCan said. In 2011, males accounted for seven in 10 homicide victims and nine in 10 persons accused of committing homicide.

And homicide victims typically know their killer, Statistics Canada said.

Among solved homicides in 2011, almost half were killed by an acquaintance or friend, one-third by a family member and more than one in 10 by a stranger.

Of all “intimate partner” homicides in 2011, 36 per cent of victims and accused were married, 36 per cent were in a common-law relationship, 26 per cent were in a dating or other intimate relationship and two per cent were in a same-sex relationship.

These categories include persons in both current and former relationships, Statistics Canada noted.

The rate of intimate partner homicides committed against females increased by19 per cent in 2011, the third increase in four years.

However, the rate for male victims declined by almost 50 per cent, reaching its lowest point since data collection began in 1961.

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