Dec 2023

2023 End-of-Year Analysis: Chicago Crime Trends

Roseanna Ander Thomas Ballard Javier Lopez Jacob Miller Kim Smith

These data visualizations present our end-of-year analysis on Chicago crime trends.

Questions? Contact Roseanna Ander.

2023 has been another deeply challenging year globally, nationally, and in our home city of Chicago. While murders are down from historic highs in 2020 and 2021, we are still not achieving fair and equitable community safety for all. For city residents, safety in America is still very much a tale of two–or more–cities. For example, in 2023, the homicide rate in Chicago (one of the most segregated cities in the country) was 20 times higher for Black residents than it was for white residents.

The good news:

  • Year-to-date, homicides have decreased 12%, and shootings are down 14% percent.
  • Driving the decrease is a decline in homicide victimizations between ages 20 and 29, and we’ve observed this downward trend for the past few years.

There is still much work to do ahead:

  • Chicago is very racially segregated, and the safety gap between Chicago’s Black and white residents persists:
    • The safety gap is shrinking from its high-water mark in 2021, where the homicide rate for Black residents was 40x that for white residents.
    • In 2023, the disparity in homicide rates between Black and white residents decreased by 50% compared to 2021. Even with this reduction, the homicide rate for Black residents was 20 times higher than for white residents.
  • The neighborhoods with the highest homicide rates experience approximately 30x more homicides than the neighborhoods with the lowest rates.
  • The share of homicide victims over age 30 has increased significantly since 2019, from 41% to 53%.

For more information about our recent work, read our end-of-year newsletter.

Headshot of ‘Crime Lab’ staff person

Chicago has a history, unfortunately, of racial segregation, structural disinvestment and we’re seeing that also play out in community safety outcomes.

Kim Smith

Director of Programs

Headshot of ‘Crime Lab’ staff person

In a city as big as Chicago, 12% [fewer homicides] is a lot of people. That means families are not grieving the loss of a loved one and the huge ripple effect that those homicides have. So I think it is a place to really celebrate, but not lose sight of the work still ahead.

Roseanna Ander

Founding Executive Director

Headshot of ‘Crime Lab’ staff person

It really is the case that a tiny share of blocks account for a disproportionate amount of gun violence.

Kim Smith

Director of Programs

Related Resources
Violence Reduction Dashboard
Dashboard

Violence Reduction Dashboard

Jul 2023
Violence Reduction Dashboard – Resource Guide
Resource Guide

Violence Reduction Dashboard – Resource Guide

Apr 2022
Webinar: Overview of the City of Chicago’s Violence Reduction Dashboard
Video

Webinar: Overview of the City of Chicago’s Violence Reduction Dashboard

Jul 2023

Launched in May 2021 by the City of Chicago, with design and technical support from the Crime Lab, the Dashboard is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive tool that allows unfettered public access to city violence trends categorizable by victim type, date, and geographic area.

Latest Updates

The U.S. saw a big drop in shootings in 2023
Media Mention
NPR
Dec 2023

The U.S. saw a big drop in shootings in 2023

Crime Lab Director of Programs Kim Smith spoke with WBEZ’s Patrick Smith about the Crime Lab’s end-of-year analysis of crime trends in Chicago. This conversation was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Chicago ends year with fewer shootings, but more robbers use guns as overall crime remains high
Media Mention
Chicago Sun Times
Jan 2024

Chicago ends year with fewer shootings, but more robbers use guns as overall crime remains high

The Crime Lab’s Director of Programs Kim Smith is interviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times’ David Struett to discuss end-of-year analysis of crime trends in Chicago.

How the Johnson administration plans to prevent Chicago crime
Media Mention
WBEZ
Jan 2024

How the Johnson administration plans to prevent Chicago crime

Kim Smith, the Crime Lab’s Director of Programs, joins WBEZ’s Reset with Sasha-Ann Simons to discuss end-of-year analysis of crime trends in Chicago.