Only northeast city among those with highest spikes in murders is Hub at No. 35

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With the homicide rate having spiked by an average of nearly 10% in 50 of the biggest U.S. cities between Q3 2021 and Q3 2022, WalletHub today released its report on the Cities with the Highest increase in Murder Rates along with and expert commentary.

In order to determine which cities have the biggest homicide problems, WalletHub compared 50 of the largest U.S. cities based on per capita homicides in Q3 2022 as well as per capita homicides in Q3 2022 vs. Q3 2021 and Q3 2020.

Cities with Highest Increase in Homicide Rates
1. Kansas City, MO 6. Albuquerque, NM
2. Detroit, MI 7. Philadelphia, PA
3. St. Louis, MO 8. Norfolk, VA
4. New Orleans, LA 9. Nashville, TN
5. Milwaukee, WI 10. Oakland, CA

Note: Rankings are based on data available as of 12:30 p.m. ET on October 17, 2022.

To view the full report and your city's rank, please visit:

Expert Commentary

Why has there been a recent spike in homicides across the country?

"There are a few explanations as to why we have seen homicide increases across the US. The last few years have been a period of instability/challenge with COVID-19, social unrest, and political change. During these periods faith in social institutions waivers (like the criminal justice system) and overall social control may weaken. In addition, we had people forced to stay home, and a large portion of crimes are committed by those we know - so crimes that increased recently such as domestic violence, assaults, and homicide may be due to interpersonal conflicts, increased use of drugs and alcohol, as well as increased social and economic pressures due to the pandemic."
Christopher Salvatore, MA, Ph.D. - Associate Professor; Chairperson, Department of Justice Studies, Montclair State University

What will it take for the homicide rate to decrease again?

"Several well-known strategies have been shown to reduce homicide. We know that police can be very instrumental here, with focused deterrence policies. To the extent that policing has been negatively affected by the pandemic or in terms of reputation due to police violence, steps toward improving and strengthening police will be important for any reduction in homicide...The pandemic has created a lot of trauma and nearly every aspect of society has been experiencing the consequences of that trauma. To just hope it will go away or get better may be unreasonable. We need strong policies in place to put our society back together, from jobs to inflation to community organizations."
Michael Rocque, Ph.D. - Professor, Bates College

"There are a variety of ways to decrease homicides. As many are in socially disorganized communities, investing in the infrastructure of these communities, as well as its citizens, may go a long way to reducing homicides. Investing in a community's economic well-being by providing opportunities for education and employment, safe and affordable housing, and social and civic infrastructure are all key areas of need. In addition, policing strategies focused on healing and building relationships with police and communities are critical in building trust and addressing critical areas of challenges that have existed between the police and impoverished communities. Another key area that could reduce homicides is changes in gun laws. Since guns are involved in the bulk of homicides, stricter gun laws, and restricting access, while a politically hot topic of significant debate, is another way to reduce homicides."
Christopher Salvatore, MA, Ph.D. - Associate Professor; Chairperson, Department of Justice Studies, Montclair State University

Will 2022 bring new solutions to this problem or will this upward trend continue?

"The US has shown much promise in its ability to arrive at creative solutions to reduce violence. I believe there will be attention to the effects of social disruption (of which homicides are one) when the pandemic feels 'over' from a public health perspective. The focus has been on reducing the spread of COVID and ensuring the public is safe from infection so that the other effects have been ignored. At some point, we will need to redirect efforts at rebuilding our communities and our social fabric to get back to a place where we feel safe and connected again. When that happens, I think homicides will decrease or find their level."
Michael Rocque, Ph.D. - Professor, Bates College

"With increasing costs of living and inflation, political and social debates around issues like abortion and gun control, ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, and the rise of new potential threats to health and well-being like Monkeypox, we may be in for increases in homicide for another year. It is possible, that if we see stabilization in the economy, a decrease in COVID-19 rates, and resolutions in the areas of social debates, we may see a corresponding decrease in homicides and other violent crimes."
Christopher Salvatore, MA, Ph.D. - Associate Professor; Chairperson, Department of Justice Studies, Montclair State University

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