Friday, January 11, 2008

Consider Our Murder Rate

In 2007, Annapolis famously and regrettably set a record for murders with 9. With a population of about 36,500, this gives us a murder rate of 24.66 per 100,000 citizens. Baltimore and Detroit lead the nation with rates in the high 40's; Washington DC is over 30 for 2007, and if Annapolis were to be included on this list, we would be good for 12th or so.

Sample sizes being what they are, you probably would be unfair to make any sweeping conclusions based on this data, but it's nothing to overlook, and we want to make sure the trend goes in the opposite direction.

This data does, however, provide us with some interesting things to think about. While murders are undoubtedly correlated with public housing, it is not the only factor, and probably not the most important factor. If it was, Annapolis would have the highest murder rate in the country because we have the highest per capita public housing rate in the country** (I think). We are left to reason that policing, geography, level of resources, and crime strategy are all things that can affect the murder rate. In other words, we can affect this. Let's hope we do.

(**Highest public housing per capita claim disputed by someone who would know better than me. I do not have any data to publish. Make conclusions with caution.)

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