• Poverty, Race, and Homicide in Chicago Community Areas

I posted here recently about the role of concentrated poverty in Chicago’s murder rate. I wrote that sufficiency of police protection was not the key issue in the murder rate—that “violent crime in Englewood and West Garfield Park will continue to run rampant as long as poverty’s clustered there.”

The chart above illustrates the relationship between concentrated poverty and homicide. I culled figures from a data set published earlier this month by the Chicago Department of Public Health. The chart shows the five poorest, and five least-poor, community areas in the city (based on the percentage of households below the poverty line), and their homicide rates from 2004 through 2008. Because concentrated poverty in Chicago is inextricably linked to being African-American, I’ve also included the percentage of African-Americans in these community areas, calculated from 2005-2009 Census Bureau estimates.