Homicides on the rise in Canada


In Canada, 788 homicides were reported in 2021, 29 more than the previous year. This is a third consecutive increase since 2019.

In Quebec, the number of homicides in 2021 remained stable. There were 88 homicides, one more than the previous year. The homicide rate thus increased by 0.1% to reach 1.02 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Gang-related homicide rate highest since 2005, Statistics Canada says Police reported 184 gang-related homicides in 2021, accounting for nearly a quarter (23%) of all homicides. In 2021, 33 more gang-related homicides were committed compared to 2020, resulting in the highest rate (0.48 per 100,000 population) recorded in Canada since comparable data began to be collected in 2005.

Firearms remain the most commonly used to commit homicides. In 2021, nationally, 40% of homicides were attributed to the use of a firearm, while pointed weapons and stabbing were involved in 32% and 17% of homicides, respectively. Among murders committed with a firearm, handguns were the main type of firearm used (57%); followed by rifles and shotguns (26%).

People of color

According to the document produced by Statistics Canada, 247 homicide victims were racialized people. This number represented 32% of the 762 victims for whom information on racialized groups was available. Among racialized homicide victims, about half (49%) were Black, and nearly 1 in 5 victims (19%) were South Asian.

Finally, the document tells us that the proportion of women killed by their spouse or internal partner was about seven times higher than that recorded among men, 44% and 7%, respectively.

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