Friday, November 26, 2021

Memphis, TN Reported One of the Highest Murder Rates in the US

by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square, Nov 22, 2021 - The rash of deadly violence came during a tumultuous year in American history. The COVID-19 pandemic led to school closures and left millions of Americans out of work. The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer rattled confidence in American law enforcement and sparked nationwide protests. Firearm sales soared, resulting in the proliferation of tens of millions of new guns. 

Some experts speculate that each of these factors likely played a role in the rising homicide rate. While it may be years before the precise causal factors are identified, the effects are being felt in communities across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists homicide as a contributing factor in the historic 1.5-year decline in life expectancy in the U.S. last year -- trailing only COVID-19 and accidental deaths, like drug overdoses, in significance.

Memphis, Tennessee, is among the U.S. cities with the highest homicide rates. There were a total of 289 murders reported in the city in 2020, or 44.4 for every 100,000 people -- well above the national homicide rate of 6.5 murders per 100,000.

Even though homicide is the least common form of criminal violence -- accounting for less than 2% of all violent crimes -- places with high homicide rates also often have high overall violent crime rates, and Memphis is no exception. There were 2,352 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in Memphis in 2020, compared to 399 incidents per 100,000 nationwide.

All data used in this story is from the FBI's 2020 Uniform Crime Report. Only places with populations above 25,000 based on five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey were considered. Limited data was available in the 2020 UCR for areas in Alabama, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, though these places were not excluded from analysis.

(For the list and ranking of the most murderous cities in America, follow this link.) 

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