True
Clinton
"Gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young African American men, outstripping the next nine causes of death combined."

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 in a speech posted on Medium

Hillary Clinton says guns exceed next nine categories as leading cause of death for young black men

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told an audience in Harlem that "many Republicans talk in coded, racial language about takers and losers."
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a campaign stop ahead of Florida primary at the Ritz Ybor in Tampa on March 10, 2016. (Octavio Jones/Tampa Bay Times)

In a speech posted on Medium, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton offered a striking statistic about gun violence and minority youth.

"Gun violence," she wrote, "is by far the leading cause of death for young African-American men, outstripping the next nine causes of death combined."

We wondered whether this is correct, so we took a closer look.

We found the relevant data on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Using this search form, we collected data on the 10 most common causes of death for African-American men and boys between the ages of 15 and 24, for 2014.

 

Rank

Cause of death

Number of deaths

Number gun-related

1st

Homicide

2,416

2,256

2nd

Unintentional injuries

1,135

47

3rd

Suicide

448

230

4th

Heart disease

172

--

5th

Cancer

161

--

6th

HIV

52

--

7th

Chronic lower respiratory diseases

47

--

8th

Congenital anomalies

38

--

9th

Anemia

33

--

10th

Diabetes

33

--

Total, 2nd through 9th place

--

2,119

--

 

So even if you look only at gun-related homicides, there were 2,256 of those in 2014, compared to 2,119 deaths in the next nine categories combined. This makes Clinton’s statement correct.

If you add in the accidents and suicides related to guns, the gap between gun-related deaths and other types of deaths expands even further.

There were 2,533 gun-related deaths in all 10 categories combined, compared to 2,002 deaths in the top 10 categories that had nothing to do with guns.

We should note that this statement is dependent on the age range chosen. For instance, the statement is not correct for African-American boys between age 10 and 14. There were 38 gun-related homicides in that age and racial group in 2014, plus 10 gun suicides and three unintentional injuries caused by guns, for a total of 51. By contrast, the top 10 causes of death for that age and racial group included 271 deaths that had nothing to do with guns, such as diseases.

That said, we think Clinton’s definition of "young" as 15-24 is a reasonable one.

Our ruling

Clinton said, "Gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young African-American men, outstripping the next nine causes of death combined."

As long as you define "young" as being between the ages of 15 and 24, Clinton’s statement is accurate, according to CDC data. We rate the statement True.