However, when adjusting for its large population, Chicago is by no means the nation’s “murder capital.” For decades, in fact, it has had fewer murders per capita than many other U.S. cities with smaller populations, according to FBI data going back to 1985.
St. Louis led the nation with 66.1 murders per 100,000 people in 2017, according to the FBI’s most recent yearly statistics, released in September. It was followed by Baltimore (55.8 per 100,000), Detroit (39.8 per 100,000), New Orleans (39.5 per 100,000) and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (38.3 per 100,000).
For its part, Chicago ranked 14th among cities with at least 100,000 people in 2017. Its 653 murders, measured against a population of more than 2.7 million, translated to a murder rate of 24.1 homicides per 100,000. That was less than half the rate in St. Louis and Baltimore and below the rates of cities including Cleveland; Memphis, Tennessee; and Newark, New Jersey.
St. Louis has had the nation’s highest big-city murder rate every year since 2014. Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans have all been in the top five during that span, according to the FBI, which collects data each year from thousands of local, state, federal and other law enforcement agencies. (It’s important to note that not all police agencies submit data to the FBI every year, which can make comparisons across cities or time periods difficult.
Chicago’s annual murder total reached its highest level in two decades in 2016 (765 murders), but New York, Los Angeles and several other big cities have enjoyed long-term declines. No decrease has been more dramatic than New York’s: The 292 murders that took place in the Big Apple in 2017 were down from a peak of 2,245 in 1990. In fact, New York’s murder rate – 3.4 homicides per 100,000 people – is now below the national average.
To read more CLICK HERE