Rising Homicide Rates in Chicago – An Analysis of Contributing Factors

We examine the data to identify contributing factors to the rising homicide rates in Chicago. The coronavirus pandemic, worsening economic insecurity, and economic inequality drove an unprecedented spike in murders in 2020.

Gun homicides increased significantly in both years, with an increase among black young adults 18-24. This was a sharp contrast to the decline among white youths.

  1. The COVID-19 Pandemic

Several important factors contributed to rising murder rates in Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include economic instability, heightened inequality, housing instability, and youth supervision.

These trends also occurred across major cities. However, the impact of these underlying factors differed significantly between them.

One crucial difference is that crime has become more concentrated in Chicago. As a result, neighborhoods with higher concentrations of violence tend to have higher homicide rates.

This is especially true of communities that are often disadvantaged or historically disinvested, including many neighborhoods on the West Side, North Lawndale, and South Lawndale. In many cases, these areas have been hot spots of violence for decades.

  1. Poverty and Income Inequality

Income inequality is one of the most pressing human rights issues in the United States. It strips people of fundamental human rights, including access to health care and education, safe work conditions, housing, and clean water.

Research suggests that poverty and income inequality are correlated with violent crime. Inequality also contributes to geographic segregation, which can lead to racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes.

This study investigated the relationship between income inequality and homicide rates in 33 high- and middle-income countries. Inequality accounted for 64% of the variance in homicide rates.

  1. Segregation

Some contributing factors have contributed to rising homicide rates in Chicago. One is economic inequality, which is a robust predictor of crime in general. Societies with more minor income differences between rich and poor tend to have better health outcomes and less violence.

The other is segregation, a central part of Chicago’s history. Urban planning, housing policies, discriminatory banking, and other practices have created clear lines of division between racial groups.

The resulting dissimilarity index makes Chicago one of the most segregated metros in the country. It ranks fifth behind Salinas, Newark, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia and is higher than other major cities.

  1. Gun Violence

Gun violence is a contributing factor to rising murder rates in Chicago, as well as across the nation. It devastates communities, especially those who are vulnerable, such as the Latino community and LGBTQ communities.

Guns also contribute to youth suicides, hate crimes and anti-trans violence. In addition, endemic firearm violence can disrupt school attendance and learning. It has negative impacts on the health of children and adolescents and can lead to poorer life outcomes in terms of employment and income.

  1. Drug Abuse

Drug abuse is the chronic and excessive use of drugs that affects a person’s mental and physical health. It can cause damage to the brain, causing a person to become addicted.

It often starts with drug experimenting, like smoking a joint or taking ecstasy at a rave. But this can lead to a severe problem if it is not stopped in time.

Youngsters, especially those with relationship problems, take drugs to escape the emotional upheaval they are going through. It may also be a hereditary condition.

As a result, the people living in these communities suffer from high levels of violence. In addition, they are a target of crime-control efforts and have less access to services. Drug abuse can also lead to legal issues, such as arrests and mugshots being posted online. Chicago mugshots online are available for those who want to check arrested individuals with drug-related offenses; they can be found on various websites that compile public records.