Preliminary data from 2022 suggests that murder cases may be declining in the United States. Based on reports from police departments in dozens of major U.S. cities, homicides are down by about 3.8% compared to where they were last year at the same time.
While it will be months before 2022 homicide data is finalized, the emerging trend is a welcome development, as homicides were up in each of the last two years, including a historic 30% surge in 2020. In some cities, homicides are down far more than average this year.
Using a compilation of homicide data from 2021 and 2022, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. cities where murders have fallen the most this year. Cities are ranked by the percent change in homicides reported year-to-date compared to the same period in 2021.
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 down at least 5% year-over-year. In some, they have fallen by 50% or more. The largest share of these cities are in the Midwest and the South – though there are also several cities in Northeastern and Western states. (Here is a look at the states where the murder rate is soaring.)
It is important to note that while homicides are down in these places, many still rank among the most dangerous cities in the country. Places on this list such as Detroit, Memphis, and St. Louis regularly rank among the U.S. cities with highest violent crime rates. (Here is a look at America’s most dangerous cities.)
Population adjusted homicide figures are calculated approximations and not official annual homicide rates. Additionally, reporting dates vary by city, and as a result, some cities may have a higher murder rate because their data has been updated more recently. Reporting dates are noted in each case, however.
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