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Health Indicator Report of Homicide

Homicide, or death caused by an intentional assault of another person, is a significant public health problem in New Mexico. In 2016, homicide was a second leading cause of death among children 10-14; and the third leading cause of death among adolescents and adults 15-34 years. Homicide accounted for 7,196 years of potential life lost before the age of 75, sixth after unintentional injuries, cancer, heart disease, suicide, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis deaths. Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) is a measure of premature mortality in a population that describes the impact of injury-related deaths on a society compared to other causes of death. Homicide deaths also affect the surviving family, friends, and community. In addition to the medical and funeral costs, the trauma, grief, and bereavement experienced by these individuals have long-lasting impacts that affect many aspects of their lives.
From 2013 to 2016, the age-adjusted homicide death rate in NM increased by 42%, from 6.6 per 100,000 to 9.4 per 100,000 population.


Homicides, or assault deaths, were defined by underlying cause of death based on the International Classification of Diseases, version 10 (ICD-10) codes.   New Mexico homicide deaths include only NM resident deaths. All rates are per 100,000, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database (

Data Interpretation Issues

Deaths for persons of unknown age are not included in age-adjusted rates.


The homicide death rate is defined as the number deaths attributed to assault per 100,000 population.


The total number of homicide deaths per year.


The estimated mid-year population.

Healthy People Objective: IVP-29, Reduce homicides

U.S. Target: 5.5 homicides per 100,000 population

Other Objectives

Healthy People 2020 Objective IVP-29: Reduce homicides.

How Are We Doing?

From 1999-2012, homicide rates in NM decreased from 9.3 to 6.6 per 100,000 population. Since 2013, the age-adjusted homicide rate in NM increased by 42%, the highest rate in the past 18 years.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

Annual homicide rates in NM have consistently been higher than U.S. rates. In 2015, the age-adjusted homicide rate in NM was 38% higher than the U.S. rate.

What Is Being Done?

The New Mexico Violent Death Reporting System (NM-VDRS) was implemented in 2005 to collect comprehensive information about all violent deaths occurring in the state, including homicide. This active, population-based surveillance system links data from multiple sources into one incident record to help understand when and how homicides occur in order to develop violence prevention and intervention efforts to reduce violence related injury outcomes in New Mexico. The New Mexico Intimate Partner Violence Death Review Team (Team), funded by the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission, uses a multi-agency approach to examine all deaths attributable to intimate partner violence. The NM Department of Health participates in the Team as an appointed member according to the duties and responsibilities in NMSA 1978 31-22-4.1. Team coordination and staff services are housed at the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. The goals of the team include identifying factors that are associated with increased risk of lethality, finding weaknesses in the systems that are designed to protect victims, and developing strategies and recommendations to prevent future injury and death.

Available Services

If you or someone you know is in a life-threatening position, please call 911. If you or someone you know is a victim of violence, please refer to the following resources in New Mexico: New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( 505-246-9240 E-mail: New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission ( General services: 505-841-9432 Toll free assistance for victims: 1-800-306-6262 E-mail: Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women ( 505-243-9199 E-mail: National Hotlines: National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) Rape Abuse Incest National Network ( 1-800-799-7233
Page Content Updated On 02/06/2019, Published on 02/06/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 20 June 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 12:15:34 MST