Urban Dynamics Blog

Chicagoland: 2017 homicide rate on track to match 2016 homicide rate

By Matt Johnson

There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the high number of homicides happening in Chicagoland. The midwestern city is on track to match its 2016 homicide total.

At the end of February 2016, Chicago had experienced 103 homicides. That was an increase of more than 96 percent from the year before. Matter of fact, there were a total of 52 homicides in January and February of 2015. In contrast, both 2016 and 2017 doubled 2015 numbers two years in a row.

In 2017, there were 55 homicides in January and 48 homicides in February according to the Chicago Tribune. Comparing 2017 to 2016, January saw a 3.6 percent decrease, which appeared promising. However, February made up for the decrease in homicides with a 6.7 percent increase. This bump in an otherwise traditionally quiet month for adverse socio-economic factors pushed Chicago back into the direction it desperately didn’t need to go.


In addition, it should be noted that the majority of these homicides are concentrated in the same few neighborhoods year after year. Thus, homicides along with other adverse socio-economic factors are not an acute issue. They are chronic and the science and mathematics are clear on this point.

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In 2016, 4 of the 5 neighborhoods with the highest numbers of homicides were located on Chicago’s West Side.


And now in 2017, the West Side neighborhoods of Austin, Englewood, and Garfield Park are the top 3 deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago so far this year, and one ought to expect this unfortunate reality to continue because of historical data and trends. Again, there are adverse socio-economic factors that have not been addressed. 

As of this moment, and although these numbers could change in the next 24 hours, Austin has experienced 14 homicides, Garfield Park has experienced 10 homicides, and Englewood has experienced 8 homicides according to heyjackass.com (again, they provide reliable statistics and sources). North Lawndale has had 5 homicides so far this year.

If this homicide rate continues for the remainder of the year, then it is likely that Chicago will see another 785 to 800 homicides this year.


Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog . He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

He has a Bachelor of Science, Systems Science with focuses in applied mathematics and economic systems; and he is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook.

Photo credit: Aurimas






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