According to a study released by the Crime Prevention Research Center, the majority (54%) of counties in the United States, with 11% of the total population, had no murders in 2014, the most recent year that they had county by county statistics for. There were either 0 murders or 1 murder in 69% of the counties. These counties have about 20% of the total U.S. population, and 4% of the murders.
According to the study: “The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 2% of counties contain 28% of the population and 51% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. But even within those counties the murders are very heavily concentrated in small areas.”
Some Cities Have Spike in Murders
A recent article in Forbes magazine reports significant spikes in murders in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019 in several cities. The numbers are:
Chicago: 2019- 284 2020- 433.
Philadelphia: 2019- 187 2020- 247.
New York: 2019- 176 2020- 227.
Los Angeles: 2019- 148 2020- 157.
Washington D. C.: 2019- 96 2020- 112.
New Orleans: 2019- 69 2020- 102.
Atlanta: 2019- 56 2020- 75.
Boston: 2019- 23 2020- 32.
The City of Portland has a unique situation as most people know, with recent demonstrations, both peaceful and violent. According to the Oregonian newspaper:
“Portland police are scrambling to respond to 15 homicides in the city so far in July. That’s the most killings in one month in more than three decades, they said.” The article also reports that total shootings, including non-deadly shootings, increased to 63 in July of 2020 compared to 28 in July of 2019. This follows the elimination of the Gun Violence Reduction Team, also known as the gang enforcement unit, on July 1, 2020, at the direction of the City Council.