Breakdown of Order in Baltimore and Chicago

So this all started because I was embroiled in a discussion about the general breakdown of order. Looking into the situation in both Chicago and Baltimore, is disheartening. Crime rates are approaching or surpassing levels only seen in failed states, or states still dealing with the after effects of civil war. So maybe our inner-cities are failed states. Maybe they are embroiled in civil wars.

International Crime statistics are hard to have much faith in. They can vary pretty dramatically depending on where you find them, but using The World Atlas, whose numbers agree with other sources, Chicago has a murder rate similar to South Sudan and Côte d’Ivoire, while Baltimore has a murder rate on par with El Salvador. (Details below) And yet other parts of the country are fairly safe. I don’t pretend to know how to “fix” this. I just know that I don’t want to live in a place that has crime levels you see in South Sudan, or Baltimore.

With enough force, you could probably “impose order” on Baltimore and Chicago. I don’t think that is the answer in the long term. I am sure that doing more of the same, or just “feeling bad” about the situation isn’t going the change anything. Holding hands and singing “Give Peace a Chance” also isn’t going to work. (“Kumbaya” is too religious for the Left today!) What we have to do is face up to reality. And by “we” I mean the entire country. Left and Right, though I really don’t think that is going to happen in the near future.

So here are the statistics:

The FBI released the final edition of Crime in the US for 2018. It used to be called the Uniform Crime Report, but if people didn’t change things, what would they do to justify their enormous salaries? It is worth knowing where to find those stats, because people who operate mostly on emotion, hate it when you provide statistics. They will not refute them, and usually resort to calling math racist.

The USA as a whole in 2018 had a national “Murder, and non-negligent homicide rate” of 5.0 per 100,000. Crime in the US, 2018 Table 4.

From the same table:

Ohio had a rate of 4.8 per 100,000 residents.

South Dakota had a rate of 1.4 per 100,000 (not sure where they stand today, but about a decade ago they had the HIGHEST rate of Concealed Carry license holders in the nation)

For the city level numbers, I went to current year, since data for both Chicago and Baltimore are available.

Chicago has a population of 2,695,598 or 2,705,994 depending on which numbers you use. Via the Wiki.

Chicago has had 476 homicides in 2019, According to HeyJackass! (The best Chicago statistics available.) Now I know math is hard but that means Chicago has a homicide rate of between 17.6 and 17.65 per 100,000. (And yes, since it isn’t the end of the year, the rates in both Chicago and Baltimore will be understated. It still makes my point.)

Baltimore has a population of 602,495 or 620,961 (depending on the numbers you use), once again according to the Wiki.

Baltimore has had 300 murders this year. Once again, doing the math, we find that Baltimore has a murder rate per 100,000 residents of between 48.3 and 49.8. Which is obscene.

The Baltimore stats are pulled from the CBS affiliate in Baltimore, which has another story on how the mayor of that city doesn’t think he (or other leadership) is responsible in anyway for the breakdown of order. ‘I’m Not Committing The Murders’ | Baltimore Mayor Jack Young Says Leadership Not To Blame As City Approaches 300 Homicides. Which I take it to mean that he has no plan for what to do to fix this mess.

I wish I knew how to fix the crime rate. I don’t. People talk about education, but Chicago spends a lot on its public schools. I’m not sure they get much return on that investment. People talk about jobs, but Chicago (which I know more about than I do about Baltimore) is raising taxes, left and right, and generally making it an uninviting place for business. New York City’s recent go-around with Amazon would seem to suggest that cities don’t want those eeeevil capitalists to create jobs for their people.

The math: the ratio of total murders to total population is equal to the ratio of the murder rate to 100,000. So the murder rate = 100,000 X (total murders)/(total population). It is only middle school math, after all.

I originally dumped these statistics in the comments on a post about crime in Baltimore. Which has been especially bad the past few years. They really did deserve a place of their own.

3 thoughts on “Breakdown of Order in Baltimore and Chicago

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