The American City With the Most Murders

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Most reporting on U.S. murder counts comes from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. However, it has flaws. Over 7,000 police departments do not provide it data. Recently, a change in how the FBI gathers this information meant New York City and Los Angeles police departments could not provide it. Based on new information from a data analysis firm, which seems to have more accurate information, murders in large cities are decreasing. Specifically, this information shows a low double-digit drop in most big metros in 2023.

Jeff Asher, a former CIA employee and the head of AH Datalytics, a firm that reports on murders by city, told ABC he expected murders in the United States to fall by 2,000 in 2023. He commented: “It is historic. It’s the largest one-year decline. It’s cities of every size, it’s the suburbs, it’s rural counties, tiny cities, it’s large cities. It’s really a national decline.” (This part of the country has the highest crime rate.)

Murders in America’s largest cities were still in the hundreds per year, the new analysis shows. The city with the most murders was Chicago, at 599, down by 13% from 2022. It was followed by Philadelphia at 409, down by 21%; New York at 380, down by 11%; Los Angeles at 377, down 15%; and Houston at 377, down 11%. (This is America’s most dangerous city.)

The murder problem in Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia is worse than it seems based on their raw numbers. This is because their total populations are so much smaller than New York and L.A. New York has a population of 8,335,897. L.A.’s is 3,822,338. Chicago’s is 2,665,038. Houston’s is 2,302,878. Philadelphia’s is 1,567,358.

Chicago’s high number of murders is because of homicides in a small part of the city, geographically. This is in the 18th, 19th, 20th and 24th police districts, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. Homicide rates in these districts are as high as in the most violent cities in the world. The reason for the high murder rate in the districts can be primarily attributed to gang violence and drug-related incidents.

Asher did not forecast what would happen to the murder count in 2024, but the data for 2023 gives some hope.

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