St. Louis Ties Mark for Fewest Homicides Since 2003

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STL homicides 2012

The homicide rate for 2012 (homicides per 100,000 residents) is estimated to be 35.6. This assumes a city population of 317,000, a number derived from updated Census estimates. While the rate eeked up a bit due to an assumed population decline, it remains near the rates of the early 2000s and lower than many other years.

*yearly estimates average decennial population changes assuming a uniform yearly change

More from the Understanding St. Louis series on nextSTL:

Understanding St. Louis: Total Crime Index and Crime-Ridden Neighborhoods

Understanding St. Louis: Total Crime Index, Violent Crimes and Property Crimes in City Neighborhoods

Understanding St. Louis: The 12 Neighborhoods of the 30-Day Anit-crime Initiative

The St. Louis Metropolitan Region: Safer than Santa Fe (and 101 other MSA's)

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  • STLgasm

    We have to consider the fact that the city population as a whole has declined, which may be part of the explanation. A lot of the worst neighborhoods in the city have emptied out over the last few years.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Yes. I’ve added a third graph from a past story to illustrate this point. It certainly depends on which years are chosen, but one can see that while the number of homicides in the city has declined greatly since 1970, the homicide rate hasn’t changed very significantly. Clearly population loss has closely tracked the decline in homicides. That said, 2011 and 2012 rates were near the lows of the early 2000s. Time will tell if the relatively lower rate can be sustained and be lowered further.

      • John R

        Time has been very unkind to us. Overall violent crime isn’t much changed through May y.t.d. (actually a bit lower than ’12 but a bit higher than ;13) but unfortunately the rise in homicide the past 24 months has been a real blow.

  • Monthly numbers are probably based on finalized reports, whereas current totals are based on outstanding and cleared reports. Unlike other crimes, homicide reports can take months to finalize.

  • Toxic

    Wonder what was the deal with ’03? It is amazingly lower than the rest. The upper outlier ’08, isn’t as disproportionate as that.

    • Eric

      The peaks in ’01 and ’08 coincide with recessions. Do ’03 and ’11 correspond with recoveries? I’m not sure. It would make sense that unemployment leads to crime.

      Also note that more murders occur in summer than winter. Because more people are out on the streets.

  • Arthur_Streets

    According to SLMPD there were 98 murders at end of October.

    • Alex Ihnen

      We’ve asked for clarification. Graphic uses SLMPD published monthly reports which add to 96.