OBJECTIVE: To analyze the socioeconomic background and its relationship with spatial distribution of mortality due to violence. METHODS: Ecological study conducted to explore the space distribution of mortality due to violence in the city of Vitória, Southeastern Brazil, between 2000 and 2003, based on population and socioeconomic information. Mortality data were correlated with information on victim's place of residence, type of violence, gender, and skin color. Data were analyzed using space average, odds ratio, and cluster analysis. RESULTS: There were reported 828 deaths due to violence during the study period, accounting for 17% of all deaths in the city. Of these, 72% were homicides, 21.8% traffic accidents, and 6% suicides. Violence victims were mostly young black males, living in poorer areas of the city. In contrast, as for suicide and traffic accidents, the victims were older white females living in the wealthiest area of the city. CONCLUSIONS: The study showed that violence is a phenomenon occurring in all socioeconomic levels but black people at the lowest level are more likely to die from homicides while white well-off people are more likely to die from suicide and traffic accidents.
Accidents; Violence; External Causes; Mortality; Socioeconomic Factors; Ecological Studies