Another Look at DC, NYC Homicide Rates (We Still Lose)

by January 13, 2010 at 6:00 am 1,388 0

Since posting two pieces on DC’s murder rate being 4.56 times higher than New York City’s, there have been some very good comments and questions about the validity of comparing Washington, DC’s homicide rate with that of New York City. Some said that for a more accurate comparison, you should add the homicide rates of suburban jurisdictions with DC and then compare it to New York City.

For the sake of comparisons, I did just that, adding five surrounding jurisdictions to DC. I lumped the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s, and the Virginia counties of Fairfax and Arlington along with Alexandria City in with DC. These six jurisdictions have 3,725,610 people (2008 estimates) with 274 murders 2009. New York City has 8,363,710 people (2008 estimate) with 461 murders in 2009.

The DC Metro area comes out badly compared to New York City. The DC Metro area, as defined above, had a homicide rate of 7.35 homicides per 100,000 people in 2009 (it was 9.88 in 2008). New York City‘s homicide rate last year was 5.51 homicides per 100,000 people (it was 6.3 in 2008).

Bottom line: The DC metro area, as defined here, has a homicide rate that is 33% greater than New York City. If you compare city versus city, the final 2009 numbers show that DC’s homicide rate last year was 4.32 times that of New York City.

Moreover, the range of homicide rates in New York City’s five boroughs was not nearly as great compared to the range in the six DC-area jurisdictions. In New York, the rate goes from 3.28 homicides per 100,000 people in Staten Island to 7.82 in Brooklyn.

In the six DC-area jurisdictions, the rate ranges from 0.95 homicides per 100,000 people in Arlington to 23.88 in DC.

Homicide stats by jurisdiction are below the fold.

DC-Area and New York City Homicide Rates in 2009

Six DC-Area Jurisdictions

Population (2008)

Homicides in 2009

Homicides per 100,000 People

Washington, DC 600,000¹ 143 23.83
Montgomery County, MD 950,680 13 1.36
Prince George’s County, MD 820,852 100 12.18
Fairfax County, VA 1,015,302 11 1.08
Arlington County, VA 209,969 2 0.95
Alexandria City, VA 136,974² 5 3.65
Total for six DC-area jurisdictions



New York City’s Five Boroughs³

Population (2008)

Homicides in 2009

Homicides Per 100,000 People

Bronx 1,391,903 108 7.75
Manhattan 1,634,795 58 3.54
Queens 2,293,007 79 3.44
Brooklyn 2,556,598 200 7.82
Staten Island 487,407 16 3.28
Total for New York City

8,363,710 461 5.51

¹ Estimate for 2009 year-end population of DC is 600,000.
² Estimate for Alexandria is 2006.
³ Each of New York City’s boroughs is also a county: Bronx/Bronx County; Manhattan/New York County; Queens/Queens County; Brooklyn/Kings County; and Staten Island/Richmond County.


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