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Chicago Led Nation In Homicides For 12th Year In A Row, Murder-Rate Still 5x NYC’s

Chicago Led Nation In Homicides For 12th Year In A Row, Murder-Rate Still 5x NYC’s

Authored by Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner via,

Count on hearing repeatedly this year from Chicago’s leadership that it successfully brought down the city’s murder total by 13% in 2023. Chicago finished the year with 617 homicides, down from 709 in 2022.

That’s 92 fewer murders and good news.

But what you’re unlikely to hear are five additional facts that would temper any optimism gained from that first fact:

1. Murders across the country fell at record levels in 2023. 

Overall, homicides nationally are expected to drop 13%, about the same as in Chicago. And murders in other big homicide hotspots like Philadelphia, Baltimore and New Orleans fell by 21 to 31%. Most big cities had bigger percentage drops than Chicago did.

Below we lay out the 2023 data for the 10 homicide hubs in 2022, those cities with the largest number of murders in the country in 2022.

2. Chicago’s 617 homicides swamp that of its two big-city peers. 

NYC, which has more than triple Chicago’s population, had just 386 murders in 2023. Los Angeles, with 1.2 million more people than Chicago, had just 328 murders.

Chicago’s 617 homicides led the country for the 12th straight year.

3. Chicago’s murder rate per 100,000 residents, while down slightly in 2023, was the 2nd-highest among the nation’s biggest cities. 

Overall, only Philadelphia had a worse murder rate than Chicago among peer cities with populations greater than 1.5 million.

And when it comes to New York City, Chicago’s murder rate remained 5 times higher. If Chicago had had the same murder rate as NYC’s, Chicago would have experienced only 121 murders in 2023, not 617.

4. Chicago’s 617 murder total in 2023 was still up 23% when compared to pre-covid, pre-George Floyd 2019’s 500 murders.

5. Despite the 13% drop in homicides, Chicago’s major crimes jumped by a total of 16% in 2023. 

Robberies were up 23%. Aggravated batteries, up 6%. Thefts and criminal sexual assaults were both up 3% each. And motor vehicle thefts spiked by 37% to reach a total of nearly 30,000 car thefts. And all that was after major crimes had already jumped 40% between 2022 and 2021.

Overall, 2023 major crimes hit a post-covid record of more than 77,500. That’s 55% higher compared to 2019.

Still leading

Expect all kinds of spin on Chicago’s crime numbers in 2024, especially in anticipation of the Democratic National Convention in August and elections in November. 

It’s why we created the Chicago Weekly Crime Tracker so you can easily see for yourself what’s happening across the city.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 01/03/2024 – 18:20