The crime rate in Detroit is greater than in Chicago. In 2018, Detroit had the third highest murder rate in the United States, trailing only St. Louis and Baltimore, and the 42nd worst murder rate in the world. Detroit has 39 homicides per 100,000 people, whereas Chicago has 24.
Detroit's crime rate has increased over the past few years, while Chicago's has decreased. The murder rate in Detroit is higher than in Chicago. There have been more than 40 murders in Detroit so far this year, compared to 30 in Chicago.
There are more violent crimes in general in Detroit. The city has the highest crime rate of any American metropolitan area with more than 500,000 residents - worse even than cities like Mexico City or Istanbul. There are also more robberies, assaults, and rapes.
Most crimes in Chicago are less serious. There are more cases of theft and robbery than murders. Only 1 in 10 crimes in Chicago results in a felony conviction.
There are more drugs problems in Detroit. According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, approximately 70% of state prisoners cite drug abuse as their main offense. Police say most illegal drugs come into Detroit through Chicago.
Chicago has more options for getting away from danger. Crime rates are high in Detroit because there are large numbers of poor people who lack access to health care or the police force.
In 2018, Detroit had the third highest murder rate among large cities in the United States, after only St. Louis. In 2017, there were 267 murders in Detroit, a decrease from the previous year's 303. The violent crime rate of 2,057 per 100,000 people was the second highest in the country, after only St. Louis.
Overall, Detroit has the highest rate of violence of any city in America with a population greater than 200,000. The city's annual average of 3,175 crimes reported per day is also higher than that of New York City. However, both cities have very low rates of victimization: 84 and 93 victims per 100,000 people, respectively. In comparison, Baltimore's rate is 834 victims per 100,000 people.
Most of Detroit's homicides are now drug-related. The number of people killed in shootings has dropped by more than half since 2004, when there were 921 shooting deaths. Since then, police have made significant gains against street gangs, reducing the number of murders by nearly half.
Crime is concentrated in a few neighborhoods within Detroit. The Eastern Market area on Detroit's east side has the highest rate of violence of any neighborhood in the city. Its estimated crime rate is 10 times that of the other neighborhoods combined. Other high-crime areas include Chalmers in the west end (also on Detroit's east side) and Greenfield Park on the north side.
In 2017, Detroit had the nation's second highest rate of violent crime. In compared to Detroit, Chicago has a substantially lower violent crime rate, with 1,006 violent offenses reported last year for per 100,000 citizens. In 2017, the violent crime rate in Detroit was 2,056 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. Non-fatal crime rates were also higher in Detroit - there were 89 murders per 100,000 people in Detroit vs 26 per 100,000 in Chicago.
There are more police officers in Chicago than in all but a few large cities. For example, there are 95 police officers for every 100,000 people in Chicago, while in Detroit there are only 3 officers for every 100,000 people.
Crime rates in Chicago are rising again after years of decline. There were 1,006 crimes reported last year for each 100,000 people in Detroit. That's up from 943 in 2016 and 912 in 2015. The increase is mainly due to rising rates of violence - there were 115 homicides reported in 2017 per 100,000 people in Detroit, a rise from 112 in 2016 and 111 in 2015.
Chicago has seen several high-profile killings this year. There have been more than 80 shootings so far in 2018, which is already more than in all of 2017.
Crime rates in Detroit have been falling since 2010 when there were over 7,000 crimes reported per 100,000 people in the city.
The city's total crime rate, particularly violent crime, is greater than the national average. Despite the fact that the nation's crime rates remain around record lows, Chicago was responsible for roughly half of the rise in killings in 2016. The causes for the higher rates in Chicago are unknown. Possible factors include more violence over the years by more dangerous types of criminals and/or stronger weapons laws that allow guns to be carried in public places without a license.
Chicago has the highest per capita rate of gun violence among cities with 100,000 or more residents, according to an analysis of federal data released in December 2013. The number of guns seized by Chicago police over the past five years exceeded the number of drugs seized, indicating that guns were a larger part of the city's economy than drugs.
Between 2007 and 2011, Chicago's murder rate rose by 46 percent, while the national rate increased by 25 percent. From 2004 to 2008, both the murder rate and the number of murders in Chicago increased despite a nationwide drop in crime.
There have been more than 730 homicides in Chicago since 2008. In 2009, there were more than 950 murders in the city. The last time the murder rate fell below 100 per 100,000 people was in 2003. There were about 70 fewer murders in Chicago in 2016 than in 2005, when there were 809 homicides.