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Mismanaged Cities Lead to Violence

January 21, 2023

Most of America was untouched by violence last year. That is true even though homicide rates spiked in the last two years. Most of us were unaffected because murder is localized. We saw violence on the TV, but not on our streets. Only a tiny fraction of U.S. counties account for nearly all of our homicides. Even in our most violent counties, violence is confined to a few zip-codes. We are not all the same.

The worst 5% of counties accounted for 73% of homicides. That is a slight increase from previous years. Meanwhile, 52% of counties recorded no homicides at all in 2020. Another 16% of counties recorded only a single homicide.

The worst 31 counties in the US are almost all urban jurisdictions. They hold about a fifth of our population and they accounted for 42% of our homicides in 2020. That research is from John R. Lott Jr of the Crime Prevention Research Center.

Lott said, “Murders are a problem in a very small percentage of the counties in the United States. Even in those higher-homicide counties, the crime is still concentrated into small districts. For example, in Los Angeles County, it was only 10% of the county’s ZIP codes that accounted for 41% of the homicides. Another 10% accounted for 26% more.”

Those zip codes are several times more violent than the violent county examined as a whole.

We also need to put these facts into perspective. The most populous county was Los Angeles, California which had over 9 million residents. The least populated county had 57 people. Of course the amount of crime would vary between them. Also, a few crimes in an almost empty county would give that county an enormous crime rate. While lowering that crime rate is good, it wouldn’t save many lives.

No one disputes that counties differ from one another. Cities are different from one another too. I think the important distinction is that bad political decisions lead to more crime and more murders.



2 Comments leave one →
  1. KUETSA permalink
    January 22, 2023 4:04 pm

    Cities . . . counties . . . population . . . homicide rates . . . mismanaged cities.
    The usual intentional “blind spot”.
    It matters, and everyone is supposed to “look the other way” . . . and deny reality.



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