Homicide in Greenland has not often been investigated. The latest published study documented a dramatic rise in the homicide rate from around 1/100,000 inhabitants to more than 23/100,000 inhabitants from 1946 to 1984. The aim of our study was to characterize homicides in Greenland from 1985 to 2010 and to compare trends during this period with those in previous studies and with homicide characteristics in Denmark, northern Europe, and other Arctic regions.
We identified a total of 281 homicides by legal definition and 194 by medical definition, the latter from the years 1990 to 2010. We procured case files for a total of 129 victims (71 male, 58 female) and 117 perpetrators (85 male, 32 female).
We identified an overall decrease in the homicide rate during our study period. The decrease in the medical homicide rate was significant (p = 0.007). The homicide rate ranged from 25/100,000 inhabitants to 13/100,000 inhabitants when results were grouped within 5-year periods. There were significantly more male perpetrators (p