While national headlines were dominated by gun violence in Chicago throughout the Independence Day weekend, persistent gun violence has produced a higher rate of homicide in Philadelphia through the first 26 weeks of 2014.
However, Chicago is home to more than 2.72 million people, compared with 1.55 million Philadelphia, according to the most recent US Census Bureau data.
So, Chicago is on pace for an annual rate of 12.6 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Philadelphia is on pace for a greater annual rate of 14.8 homicides per 100,000.
In New York City, where 145 homicides were reported during the first 26 weeks of this year, the projected annual rate is 3.45 — less than 25 percent of Philadelphia’s homicide rate.
Philadelphia also maintained the highest rate of homicide per capita among the nation’s largest municipalities throughout 2012 and 2013, as we previously reported.
In 2013, more than 80 percent of Philadelphia homicides resulted from shootings — or 201 of the total 247 homicide victims — according to annual police data. None of the police departments cited in this report include shooting victim totals in their weekly updates.
The good news is that all three cities have seen reductions in homicides through the first 26 weeks of this year; by 10.5 percent in New York City, eight percent in Chicago, and three percent in Philadelphia.
*Update: As of July 9th, the total number of homicides in reported Philadelphia during 2014 has pulled even with last year’s pace, with 119 people killed, according to the latest police data.
Philadelphia shooting incident scenes: June 2014
Posted by Jim MacMillan.
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