Homicide rates have increased by an average of around 10% in 45 of the largest U.S. cities from Q1 2021 to Q1 2023 and continue to climb, especially in Dallas.
Over the past few years, the U.S. witnessed a sharp surge in its homicide rate, prompting President Biden to prioritize addressing the issue.
According to WalletHub, Dallas had 5.69 homicide cases per capita in Q1 2023. The change in homicide cases per capita from Q1 2023 vs Q1 2022 was 0.54. But the biggest change in homicide cases per capita occurred from Q1 2023 vs Q1 2021, in which Dallas saw a 1.23 change.
Adjunct Professor, College of William and Mary School of Law Robert J. Spitzer said most agree that the recent upsurge in homicides is related to the COVID-19 pandemic. People spent so much time at home and in close confines, domestic violence increased, and some of that resulted in homicides.
But Spitzer said as 2023 progresses he expects to see homicide rates decline.
“A generally improved economy and continuation of community anti-violence programs, fueled in part by new federal government appropriations enacted last year, should help push crime down, though greater civilian gun acquisition could complicate this,” Spitzer said.
During the pandemic, Americans bought record numbers of guns, especially handguns, which also resulted in more homicides. But Spitzer believes the homicide numbers are bound to eventually return to a normal level.
“Homicides and other crimes have been steadily declining for about the last 30 years (with an upsurge in the last few years), so a decline now may reflect a resumption of that long-term trend,” Spitzer said.
In order to determine which cities have the biggest homicide rate problems, WalletHub compared 45 of the largest U.S. cities based on per capita homicides in Q1 2023, as well as per capita homicides in Q1 2023 vs. Q1 2022 and Q1 2021.