The End of A Record-Breaking Year in Homicides for Baltimore

With a homicide rate well above that seen during the crack-cocaine epidemic — and the ensuing drug war — 2015 is going down in the record books for the number of homicides in Baltimore. With well over 50 homicides per 100,000 residents this year, Baltimore is now among the 20 most violent cities in the world, and will likely reign as the most violent city in the United States, ahead of Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans.


This year has been record-breaking for Baltimore when it comes to the homicide rate. As of 10pm tonight, 344 people have been killed in Baltimore, and their deaths have been ruled or are suspected homicides. According to The Baltimore Sun and Cham’s Page, both of whom keep track of the homicides so far, the average age of a homicide victim this year was about 30. Also, the 600 block of Willow Avenue, the 900 block of West Fayette Street, and  the 1200 block of North Caroline Stree have seen the most homicides, with three each. Eighteen other blocks saw two homicides each.

According to the US Census Bureau, the current population of Baltimore is estimated at around 622,000 residents. The homicide rate works out to 55.1 homicides per 100,000 residents, a rate that puts Baltimore in the top 20 most violent cities in the world according to a Mexican violence observatory.

All these numbers are subject to change. Some homicides may be classified as something other than homicides. However, what should not be lost in all these numbers are the lives that were ended prematurely because of violence. I took the published names of these individuals and created a word cloud based on their frequency:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.20.11 AM

Starting on January 1, we will keep up with the current homicide epidemic on a case-by-case basis and try to make sense of the information that will be coming in from the media, the Baltimore Police Department, etc. Here’s hoping that 2016 is not a record year of its own.