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June 29, 2022

Homicides (perhaps) trending down through first half of 2022, including in big cities like Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia

With significant upticks in homicides and some other crimes reported in many areas throughout the US in 2020 and 2021(see background/complications here and here and here and here), it is not surprising that there is considerable concern in many quarters about crime policies and crime politics.  Still, anyone who follows crime trends knows they can often have an unpredictable and unexplained quality.  Against that backdrop, I have been watching closely the homicides being reported via police crime reports in various cities over the first half of 2022.  In particular, this AH Datalytics webpage provides a very helpful "YTD Murder Comparison" Dashboard that collects homicide data from police in nearly 100 big cities. 

Though the AH Datalytics page has some lags in the data and only has city data, I still think it notable as we approach the end of the first half of 2022 that this dashboard as of this morning indicates that nearly two-thirds of all cities are reporting that homicides are down in 2022 relative to 2021.  In addition, the cumulated data from all the cities tracked show that nationwide murders in large cities are down more than 2%.  Also notable are encouraging downward trends in homicides over the first half of this year in some of our nation's largest cities.  Specifically, based on (linked) police reports, we see: 

Chicago homicides down 11% (as of June 19)

Los Angeles homicides up 1% (as of June 25)

New York City homicides down 13% (as of June 26)

Philadelphia homicides down 10% (as of June 28)

(I could not find up-to-date homicide data from Houston and Phoenix.)  Of course, these four very big cities (and all the AH Datalytics cities) are not fully representative of what may be going on with homicides in every area nationwide.  Moreover, these reported homicide declines are on the heels of notably high homicide rates in many locales in 2021.  And a few mass shootings (or bad days) in these cities could erase the small homicide safety gains over the first half of 2022.  Still, with all these caveats, these encouraging data at least provide a basis for me to begin to hope that surging homicides in 2020 and 2021 were mostly a pandemic era phenomenon and that we may return to lower homicide rates before too long.  But, reiterating that homicide and broader crime trend often have unpredictable and unexplained qualities, it is certainly possible that six months from now the 2022 data could tell a very different story.

June 29, 2022 at 09:20 AM | Permalink


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