Posted on June 21, 2022

New Orleans Murder Rate Per Capita Pacing Highest in U.S.

David Jones, WVUE, June 17, 2022

It’s no secret that New Orleans struggles with violent crime, but new statistics paint a grim picture of the Crescent City being on pace to be the murder capital of the United States if trends don’t change in 2022.

According to data from AH Datalytics, compiled using the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, New Orleans has a per capita year-to-date homicide rate of 72 per 100,000 residents. The next three U.S. cities behind New Orleans are Birmingham with a per capita homicide rate of 59 per 100,000 residents and Baltimore and St. Louis, each with a per capita homicide rate of 58 per 100,000 residents.

The jump in the city’s homicide rate comes after a 50-year low in 2019 when New Orleans had just 121 homicides.

The report also shows data comparing the 2019-2022 increase in per capita homicide rates by city, with New Orleans far outpacing other cities at 40 per 100,000 residents. Milwaukee comes in second, with an increase of 20 homicides per 100,000 residents.


According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, New Orleans police have investigated 135 homicides this year as of Monday, June 13.

In the 1990s, New Orleans experienced a violent crime wave that made national headlines. In 1995, the city counted 363 homicides by year’s end. But the pre-Katrina population was around 100,000 residents higher.


Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said city leaders have ignored the problems for more than two years, leading to NOPD’s current manpower shortage and the increase in New Orleans’ homicide rate.

“You’ve got two components of the criminal justice system: dwindling numbers of officers, that means they can’t get to crime scenes and when they do get to crime scenes, they are overwhelmed with violent crime,” he said. “If they’re fortunate enough to make an arrest, we have the District Attorney’s office that, at least in 2021, the first year of Jason Williams, was more inclined to refuse and dismiss those cases.”


“If the streets were flooded with water to the extent they’re flooded with violent crime right now, we’d be moving heaven and earth to pump the water out,” he said. “We’ve been ignoring the flood of violent crime for two and a half years. {snip}”