Tag: Chicagoland

Chicagoland: Homicide rate increases as 2017 progresses

Unfortunately, the homicide rate is increasing in Chicago. That is, the number of homicides per month are increasing as 2017 progresses.

The year started off with 145 homicides in the 1st quarter – January, February, and March –  compared to the 151 homicides through the 1st quarter in 2016. However, things started to pick up at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. April saw seven more homicides than April of 2016. There were 41 homicides in April of 2016 compared to 48 homicides this year.

May saw a slight decrease. That was certainly good news. But then June happened.

Data Source: Chicago Tribune

June saw more homicides this year than last year – 84 to 73 – about a 15 percent increase. And now July is following suit. July of 2017 has seen more homicides than July of 2016.

For those keeping count, 409 families have lost a loved one this year compared to the 403 families at this time last year. 400 families?

August starts tomorrow. And that’s terrible news for those who live in the economically depressed parts of the city (my readers recognize these parts of Chicago as subsystems).

Last year, there were 96 homicides in August of 2016. If this homicide rate remains constant, the windy city will see 500 plus homicides by the end of the 8th month of 2017.

It is certainly possible this thing could slow down (I’m rolling my eyes). Cities are stochastic systems; that is, they are probabilistic. But it’s probably not likely that the homicide rate will slow down enough to see fewer people die this year. If the last two months are any indication of what might be possible, then it’s very likely local policy makers could be faced with answering the obvious question from journalists and others in the press, “Why were there more than 800 homicides this year?” The response will be a clutter of words and sentences in ambiguous language – doublespeak.

To be frank, Chicago hasn’t experienced such a ridiculous and appalling statistic since the mid 1990’s. Chicago saw 828 homicides in 1995; and Chicago hasn’t seen fewer than 400 homicides in decades. Wait. What?

Data Source: Chicago Tribune

Anyway, will 2017 break the 95′ threshold of 828 homicides? One would certainly hope not. It would be great if the number went down to zero starting tomorrow. But that isn’t realistic for a plethora of reasons. The challenges of the depressed economic systems, where most of these homicides happen, are not being met with judicious economic solutions.

The necessary economic tools do exist. But it might be the case that local policy makers in Chicago don’t have accessibility to the necessary economic tools: labor economics, game theory, behavioral economics, systems economics, etc… Or perhaps it’s something else entirely (I doubt it – my money is on the economic tool-kit).

Until then, enjoy the featured image for this article. It is a beautiful picture of a Chicago train surrounded by the city’s stunning architecture. Good stuff.


Matt Johnson is a blogger/writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Systems Science, with focuses in applied mathematics and economic systems, from Iowa State University. He is also a professional member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the International Society for the Systems Sciences and a scholarly member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, which is an International Honors Society for Economics. 

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook.


Photo Credit: Pixabay





Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist

Chicagoland: 2017 homicide rate on track to match 2016 homicide rate

By Matt Johnson

There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the high number of homicides happening in Chicagoland. The midwestern city is on track to match its 2016 homicide total.

At the end of February 2016, Chicago had experienced 103 homicides. That was an increase of more than 96 percent from the year before. Matter of fact, there were a total of 52 homicides in January and February of 2015. In contrast, both 2016 and 2017 doubled 2015 numbers two years in a row.

In 2017, there were 55 homicides in January and 48 homicides in February according to the Chicago Tribune. Comparing 2017 to 2016, January saw a 3.6 percent decrease, which appeared promising. However, February made up for the decrease in homicides with a 6.7 percent increase. This bump in an otherwise traditionally quiet month for adverse socio-economic factors pushed Chicago back into the direction it desperately didn’t need to go.


In addition, it should be noted that the majority of these homicides are concentrated in the same few neighborhoods year after year. Thus, homicides along with other adverse socio-economic factors are not an acute issue. They are chronic and the science and mathematics are clear on this point.

Donate to The Systems Scientist

Buy Now Button

In 2016, 4 of the 5 neighborhoods with the highest numbers of homicides were located on Chicago’s West Side.


And now in 2017, the West Side neighborhoods of Austin, Englewood, and Garfield Park are the top 3 deadliest neighborhoods in Chicago so far this year, and one ought to expect this unfortunate reality to continue because of historical data and trends. Again, there are adverse socio-economic factors that have not been addressed. 

As of this moment, and although these numbers could change in the next 24 hours, Austin has experienced 14 homicides, Garfield Park has experienced 10 homicides, and Englewood has experienced 8 homicides according to heyjackass.com (again, they provide reliable statistics and sources). North Lawndale has had 5 homicides so far this year.

If this homicide rate continues for the remainder of the year, then it is likely that Chicago will see another 785 to 800 homicides this year.


Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog . He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

He has a Bachelor of Science, Systems Science with focuses in applied mathematics and economic systems; and he is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and the International Society for the Systems Sciences.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook.

Photo credit: Aurimas






Copyright ©2017 – The Systems Scientist