Introduction Homicide rates are increasingly and have become a public health problem in developing countries, affecting mainly young males aged 15–29 years. We aimed to investigate the relationship between the development level of the cities and schooling, with the rate of homicides.
Methods An ecological study was performed with data from the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil (population >50 000) in 2006. We used the following variables: homicide mortality rate per 100 000 in 15–29 year olds, school attendance of young people aged 15–17 years and the Index for Social Responsibility (ISR). The ISR is a compound indicator that aggregates information from health outcomes, income, education, demography, public safety, management, housing and environment, culture and sport and leisure. The relationship between the variables was investigated by linear regression.
Results Of the 2320 deaths in Minas Gerais in 2006 due to external causes, 283 (12%) were due to homicides. The victims were mostly male (89%) and 43% belonged to age group 15–29 years. Regression modelling showed the homicide rate decreased with increasing ISR and increasing school attendance.
Conclusion These results suggests that mortality in young people is related to lower educational level. Thus, strategies for dealing with violence should consider investing in the education of citizens.
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