D.C. 2012 Murder Rate Ranked 8th Among Nation’s Most Populated Cities

In 2012, Washington D.C. ranked eighth in murders per capita in cities populated with 500,000 or more residents, according to data submitted by cities and released by the FBI earlier this month.

The Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, a yearly breakdown of crime statistics provided by law enforcement agencies across the country, did not include D.C. crime numbers from 2012.

Spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in an email that MPD was unable to provide the FBI preliminary crime statistics from last year because the department was transitioning to a new data entry system. In previous years, MPD has regularly provided crime statistics to the FBI, Crump said.

During a press conference at the end of last year, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier reported 88 murders had occurred in 2012 (MPD’s calculations do not include four homicide victims whose death was ruled self-defense).

Using 2012 census data, and the 88 homicides that MPD would have reported to the FBI, Homicide Watch D.C. has calculated that D.C. experienced 13.91 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2012, down from 17.44 in 2011.

Detroit’s 2012 murder rate of 54.58 ranked highest among cities with 500,000 or more residents. Baltimore ranked second with a murder rate of 35.01, followed by Philadelphia, Memphis and Chicago, rounding out the top five.

The FBI cautions against ranking cities based on crime statistics because there are a variety of factors that make it hard to compare each city solely on numbers.

But here is a list of the top ten cities with 500,000 people or more, ranked by murder rate:

City Population Total Murders (official count) Murders per 100,000 people
1. Detroit, Michigan 707,096 386 54.58
2. Baltimore, Maryland 625,474 219 35.01
3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,538,957 331 21.50
4. Memphis, Tennessee 657,436 133 20.23
5. Chicago, Illinois 2,708,382 500 18.46
6. Milwuakee, Wisconsin 599,395 91 15.18
7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 595,607 85 14.27
8. District of Columbia 632,323 88 13.91
9. Dallas, Texas 1,241,549 154 12.40
10. Indianapolis, Indiana. 838,650 101 12.04
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