By Mason Johnson
Last week, I talked about the Chicago neighborhoods that saw the most homicides in 2013. While the city saw a drop in homicides, these neighborhoods did not.
What’s also striking is the number of these neighborhoods that continue to outnumber the rest of Chicago in homicides year after year.
Looking at the ten neighborhoods with the most homicides every year between 2007 and 2013, you see many repeats, with only 18 out of Chicago’s 77 community areas composing the seven separate years.
Two neighborhoods show up each of these seven years: Austin and South Shore. In 2013, Austin and South Shore saw 14.06% of the city’s homicides, despite only representing 5.5% of Chicago’s population.
The neighborhoods that appear six out of seven of those years are Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing, Roseland and West Englewood. All six of those neighborhoods were among the ten neighborhoods with the most homicides in 2013, and will very likely continue this trend once 2014 is over.
The neighborhoods that only appear once are Woodlawn, West Pullman, Washington Heights and East Garfield Park. With 20 murders, West Pullman saw a rise in homicides in 2013. The neighborhood only had seven in 2011 and 13 in 2012 and 2007.
There have been decreases, too. while Austin saw 31 homicides in 2013, which is lower than the 41 the neighborhood saw in 2009. It’s still higher than the 2010 number, which was 23.
While Woodlawn saw an uncharacteristic rise to 21 homicides in 2012, the neighborhood only logged 7 homicides in 2013.
With all that said, Chicago as a whole is still seeing significantly fewer homicides than it saw in the early 1990s. According to the Chicago Police Department, Chicago saw 931 murders in 1994, which is significantly larger than the 415 murders in Chicago in 2013.
But do the numbers from the 1990s reflect changes citywide, or just in some parts of the city?
According to Daniel Kay Hertz, whose maps display the change in homicides over the past two decades, “The North Side saw huge decreases (in Rogers Park, it was over 80%) pretty much everywhere … The parts of the South and West Sides closest to downtown – Bronzeville, the West Loop, Pilsen, etc. – got a lot safer. But most of the rest actually got worse, including some neighborhoods that were already among the most dangerous in the city, like Englewood and Garfield Park.”
I hope to get a glimpse of the neighborhood stats from the 1990s sometime soon, so I can better compare them to today’s number of homicides.
Read more about Chicago homicide statistics here.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, the numbers provided were obtained from the RedEye Homicide Tracker, with the math done by Johnson himself.