Why It Is Misleading to Compare Murder Rates in the US and Western Europe

2016 article by the American Journal of Medicine claims that homicide rates in the U.S. are 7 times higher than an average of other “high income countries.”  This conclusion is based on a select list of OECD nations compiled in 2010.  The lowest income nation on the list is Hungary, where per capita GDP is $28,000 per year.  Turkey and Mexico did not make the cut because their per capita GDPs are respectively $25,000 and $19,000.  Latvia and Estonia are not on this list, presumably because Latvia joined the OECD in 2016 and Estonia joined in December of 2010.  Turkey, Estonia, and Latvia have murder rates comparable to those in the U.S.  Mexico exceeds the U.S. by about 4 times.  Most would agree that Mexico is not “high income” but the case for excluding these other three nations is not as clear cut.

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