There has been a near 30% surge in homicides in the United States in 2020, the largest one-year increase ever recorded. Homicides increased once again in 2021, but by a smaller, 6% margin. Preliminary data from 2022 suggests that murders may finally be declining once again.
Based on data reported by police departments in major U.S. cities, homicides are down by about 3.8% compared to the same period last year. While these early figures are encouraging, there are still several large American cities where murders are up in 2022 – sometimes by a wide margin.
Using a compilation of homicide data from 2021 and 2022, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. cities where murder is up the most this year. Cities are ranked by the percent change in homicides reported year-to-date compared to the same period in 2021. Reporting dates vary by city, but are noted in each case.
We considered all U.S. cities with populations of at least 250,000 as well as cities with smaller populations and an average of at least 10 homicides a year between 2015 and 2019. Only cities with publicly available homicide data were considered. Population figures are five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.
In every city on this list, homicides are up so far in 2022 by at least 5% compared to the same period in 2021. In some, they are up over 50%. Most of the cities on this list are in the South. There is only one Midwestern city on this list and only one city in the Northeast. (Here is a look at the states where the murder rate is soaring.)
Many of these cities are among those that consistently rank among the most violent cities in the country. Places on this list such as Baltimore, Little Rock, and New Orleans regularly rank among the U.S. cities with highest violent crime rates. (Here is a look at America’s most dangerous cities.)
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