Australian Institute of Criminology

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Homicide statistics

Over the past 18 years (1 July 1989 to 30 June 2007), the rate* of homicide incidents decreased from 1.9 in 1990-91 and 1992-93 to the second-lowest recorded rate, of 1.3, in 2006-07. *rate per 100,000 population.

Murder is the predominant charge and has been throughout the 18-year data-collection period. In 2006-07, there were 230 murder charges, 28 manslaughter charges, one infanticide charge, and one unknown. The type of charge against an offender may change once the incident proceeds through the judicial process.

In 2006-07, there were 260 homicide instances, involving 266 victims and 296 offenders.

Note: The majority of homicide data presented below is derived from two main sources with different data collection cycles. The charts and tables derived from the Institute's National Homicide Monitoring Program data set is collected on a financial year cycle. The other charts and tables are based on ABS data which is collected on a calendar year cycle.

Homicide victims from 1993 to 2007 (number per year)

Homicide victims from 1993 to 2007 (number per year)

  • The number of murder victims fluctuated slightly from 1993 to 2007, whereas manslaughter remained relatively stable.
  • The number of murder victims peaked in 1999, at 344; the number of manslaughter victims peaked in 2002, at 48.
  • The 253 murder and 29 manslaughter victims recorded in 2007 were the lowest annual number yet recorded.

Homicide incidents in Australia, 1989-90 to 2006-07 (number)

Chart: Trends in homicide incidents

The figure shows that although there have been fluctuations from year to year, the number of homicide incidents has shown a steady decline since the inception of the NHMP in 1989. 2006-07 saw the second-lowest number of homicide incidents in the collection period.

Source: AIC National Homicide Monitoring Program 1989-90 to 2006-07 [computer file]

Homicides involving firearms as a percentage of total homicides, 1915-2003

Homicides involving firearms as a percentage of total homicides, 1915-2003

Source: Adapted from ABS causes of death 1915-2003 data

  • The percentage of homicides committed with a firearm continued a declining trend which began in 1969. In 2003, fewer than 16% of homicides involved firearms. The figure was similar in 2002 and 2001, down from a high of 44% in 1968.
Incidence of homicide
PercentageNumber
Source:AIC NHMP 2006-07 [computer file]
New South Wales 34 89
Victoria 19 49
Queensland 20 53
Western Australia 10 27
South Australia 5 12
Tasmania 3 8
Australian Capital Territory 2 4
Northern Territory 7 18
Australia 100 260

Further information