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Six Cities With Worst Murder Rates In United States

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — During roughly the past three decades, there have been six cities that have been the worst for murders, per capita.

If you said Chicago made that list you would be …

Wrong.

As CBS Chicago correspondent Mason Johnson has reported in great detail, Chicago is not the “murder capital” of anything.

Officially the FBI states the Chicago metro area murder rate is about 7 per 100,000 residents, but that includes much more than just the city itself.

Within the city limits, that rate climbs to around 18–about four times the national average rate of around 4.7 murders per 100,000 people.

Obviously, that is too many murders. In recent years, New York City and Los Angeles have fewer murders than Chicago.

Still, that figure comes nowhere close to the worst rates historically in the United States.

Here is the breakdown, according to an analysis by Pew Research. The number represents the highest murder rate during the time the city held the title of so-called “Murder Capital Of The United States.”

1985-1987: Detroit, 58.2 murders per 100,000 residents

1988-1992: Washington, D.C. 71.9

1993-1995: New Orleans 85.8

1996: Washington, D.C.

1997: Richmond, Va.

1998-1999: Washington, D.C.

2000-2004: New Orleans, 42.1

2005: Birmingham, Ala 44.3

2006: Detroit

2007-2009: New Orleans, 94.7 (2007, the highest rate during the years studied)

2010: Flint, Mich.

2011: New Orleans

2012: Flint, Mich. 62

That’s six cities that have swapped with each other for worst murder rates in the past 27 years. Two cities, New Orleans and Washington have had the worst murder problem for 19 of those 27 years.

New Orleans has ranked No. 1 for 11 of those years.

Washington D.C. for 8 eight.

While the statistics for this year won’t be available until 2015, Chicago is basically on pace for the same amount of murders as 2013, and much lower than 2012.

One can expect to see its murder rate to remain about the same, or perhaps a bit lower that 18/100,000, and nowhere near the worst in the country.

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