The crime statistics in Chicago 2023

You're likely to hear some troubling news about Chicago on the news these days. The latest crime statistics point to an average of 3,926 crimes per every 100,000 people in 2022, mostly violent crimes.

Such worrying statistics can give you pause. That's why there's a notable increase in the number of people relocating their businesses and homes outside Illinois.

But, before you pack up and leave, you should ask; Are there numbers blown out of proportion? And, more importantly, what can I do to secure my home, business, and valuable assets?

Today we'll take a deep dive into the crime data of Chicago in 2023. By the end of this article, you'll have the reassurance you need to stay ahead of this worrying trend.

Is Chicago Dangerous?

According to Governor J.B. Pritzker, Chicago's crime rate is on a downward trend. However, the statistics don't seem to agree with such an assessment.

It helps to consider the pre-George Floyd crime statistics to get a clear picture of the surging crime and murder rate. This volatile period stretched the police and other security services. Worse still, even the number of repowered murders, theft, felonies, and property crimes reported in 2022 was 33% higher than in 2019.

In 2022, major crime went up by 41% compared to 2021. 100 days into 2023, and it promises to be another worrying year for the city's law-abiding citizens.

Current data shows a 61% rise in reported major crimes in March 2023 compared to the same period last year. In addition, it's 97% higher than in 2021.

How Much Crime is there in Chicago According to 2023 Statistics

Tough economic times and a perceived lack of political will to stop crime have led to this issue. Surprisingly, Chicago is safer than most cities in the USA, and that includes big cities with large populations. The city didn't make it the 100 most dangerous cities in 2022, according to neighborhoodscouts.

The New York Times ranked Chicago's rate of homicide 7th behind Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and St. Louis.

The table below shows the crime rate in 2023 vs. 2022 from the Chicago Police Department crime database. (By the time of this article's publication)







Sexual assault 



Aggravated battery












Motor vehicle theft



How do these statistics compare to previous years?

For one, 2,169 motor vehicle theft cases are a lot for only 100 days in a year. It represents a 165% rise compared to 2022. In addition, the rate was 349% more than in 2019.

  • Robbery cases are up by 26%
  • Burglary and breakings increased by 11%
  • Theft is up by 24%
  • Aggravated battery cases went up by 31%
  • Cases of criminal sexual assault climbed by 12%

The only solace is that the Homicide and murder rates have reduced by 9% compared to 2023. However, the murder rate increased by 78% compared to 2019 because there were only 18 reported cases by this time in 2019.

We're barely through the first quarter of 2023, yet the Chicago police crime data shows that the projection will rise by the end of the year unless something drastic occurs.

Main Types of Crime in Chicago

Armed Robbery and Property Crime

Motor vehicle theft and stealing vehicle parts top the list of crimes committed in the windy city. The Chicago police department has various task forces that launch sting operations to curb this epidemic. However, the department is stressed by the frequency of such crimes –It helps to be cautious. It's advisable to lock your parked car even if you're running a short errand. It may also be wise not to leave anything valuable inside your car lying in plain sight

Property theft takes the second spot, with an annual average of 566 occurrences per 100,000 people. Always be mindful of the people around you, and take care of your valuables. With the rise in CCTV installations, neighborhood watches, and contacting private security firms, there's hope that armed robbery and property theft may reduce.

Aggravated Assault and Other Violent Crimes

The rate of aggravated assault, non-negligent manslaughter, and other violent crimes in Chicago is higher than in other Illinois cities. With a rate 4 times higher than the national average, it's easy to see why many consider "The Chi" the nation's murder capital.

Here's a quick breakdown of the average annual statists going back to the Pre-George Floyd era:

  • 21 out of 100,000 people succumb to homicides, and the same number are shot with significant permanent disability or fatalities.
  • 259 thefts out of 100,000 people occur, with notable violence as part of the equation.
  • 566 cases of assault and non-negligent manslaughter are reported out of every 100,000 citizens.
  • There are a saddening 67 cases of violent sexual assault reported in every 100,000 people

According to the 2023 Chicago shot clock: 1 person is shot every 4 hours, while a homicide happens every 17 hours and 12 minutes in Chicago.

The Safest Neighborhoods in Chicago

Chicago is a sprawling city with a large population, and it's not all gloom and doom. Some of the residents don't live under constant fear of criminals.

Below are some of the safest neighborhoods you can live in.

  • Forest Glen is a postcard Chicago neighborhood where you'd love to raise your kids. The crime rate is 71% lower than in the rest of the windy city. The Glen hosts many private schools and retirement communities—no wonder it has such a low crime rate.
  • Lincoln Park is one of the most upscale neighborhoods in Chicago. Its crime rate is 24% lower than the average. Lincoln Park has loads of tourist attractions and a vibrant close neat community of homeowners.
  • Lake View's crime rate is 40% lower than most of Chicago. It also borders Lake Michigan and other upscale neighborhoods like Lincoln Park. The public transport system is efficient, and rent prices are affordable. That's why this neighborhood has a significant population of young professionals.
  • Norwood Park has a rich academic culture with some of the best prep schools and colleges in the U.S. This family-friendly neighborhood's crime rate is 72% lower than the rest of the city.
  • Mount Greenwood is an upper-middle-class neighborhood with the amenities to match. The community keeps close ties with its police department. That's why the crime rate is 61% lower than elsewhere.
  • Westmont is a great place to raise children. It's worth noting that there's an abundance of daycare facilities and schools because it has a higher population of children than the surrounding neighborhoods. The crime rate is 65% lower than in the rest of Chicago.

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago

Chicago has more than its fair share of dangerous neighborhoods. Overcrowded housing projects, unemployment, and lack of public amenities fuel the high crime rate. Most residents of this area are loyal to crime gangs or are too scared to speak up against crime.

  • Englewood is an inner-city neighborhood made of various affordable housing projects. Each year there are a reported 9,386 reported crimes out of a 25,000 population. The rate of violent crime and property crimes here is 7 times higher than in the rest of the nation.

Low-income rates, poor urban planning, and gang affiliation contribute to the high crime rate—it also breeds a culture of distrust and unwillingness to work with the police to stem the tide.

  • West Englewood faces the same urban challenges plaguing its neighbor, Englewood. There are some streets that residents and tourists would advise you to avoid by all means. It only has 100,000 residents, but police databases show an average of 7,451 reported crimes.
  • The back of the yards is one area that makes the Chicago lawn. Forget the quaint name because this is one of the roughest places to live in the U.S. The average crime rate is 4,143 reported cases per 100,000 people. Like other entrants on this list, this neighborhood's scars stem from massive unemployment rates, domestic disputes, and low public/private investment.
  • Washington Park is a surprise entrant to this list. That is because it has a low population (3,000) but a staggering crime rate. Violent and property crimes average 420 cases per 100,000 people. In addition, house break-ins and other property crimes reach 2,008 per 100,000, making it a no-go zone for tourists.
  • Altgeld Gardens has a small population (1,500) but a staggering 23% unemployment rate. This leads to a high crime rate and fewer people willing to live there despite affordable housing.
  • Riverdale is a far cry from the poster town you saw in Archer comics growing up. For one, it's located in the violent Southside, near a noisy freeway. Then it has an annual average of 743 reported cases out of 100,000. With unemployment rates at 40%, you best watch your back or avoid setting foot in Riverdale.
  • West Garfield Park's housing projects ensure that rent and mortgage prices are low. However, the high rate of unemployment and idleness makes it a crime-prone neighborhood. The crime rate in West Garfield is 200% higher compared to other entrants on this list. It's not the best place to live alone or raise a young family.
  • South Chicago is often in the news for its high violent crime rate. This neighborhood is no stranger to gang activity—it's often the flashpoint for gang wars, Chicago murders, vehicle theft, and violent crime. Even walking is highly unadvised in South Chicago because it's a mugger's paradise.

How has the Violent Crime Rate in the USA Changed in Recent Years?

According to data from the FBI, crime rates dropped by 49% between 1993 and 2019, including a notable -68% lower robbery rate, -43% for aggravated assault, and -47% lower rate of homicide for the same period.

Burglary has had the sharpest decline of -69%, while car theft has reduced by -64%. Property crime (-55%) and theft and other larceny cases have dropped by -49. The only major crime statistic missing from these 30 years is sexual assault because the FBI recently updated the definitions to encompass previously ignored acts of sexual violence.

Data from other sources report a steeper decline. As per Neighborhoodscouts, we've seen a 74% reduction in all crimes across the U.S.

How Do Americans Feel About The Level Of Crime In The Country?

All national crime databases show a gradual decline in crime rates across the United States. Nevertheless, most Americans seem to believe crime is at an all-time high.

According to 20 out of 24 Americans polled by Gallup, we witness more crime each year. That means over 60% of the population lacks faith in law enforcement and community security initiatives. However, crime statistics collected from various news bureaus and police departments show a steady decline in violent crime and property crimes.

Fewer of those polled also believe crime increases within their neighborhoods. Of those who responded to the questions, less than 50% indicated that crime rose in their community compared to the previous year.

Last year (2022), there was a great national divide in the public's perception of crime. 78% believe it has risen nationally, and 38% view it's a local concern—this is the widest recorded margin from Gallup.

What shapes the difference in options? A survey by Pew Research found that the most significant drivers are race and political affiliation. For instance, during the last election, 74% of Trump's supporters thought violent crime was a hot-button issue that a presidential candidate should address—while only 46% of the bidden camp shared the same opinion.

It's also easy to conclude where those polled reside. After all, people in richer neighborhoods can come together and hire private security firms. The rest simply have to depend on overstretched law enforcement agencies.

What Types Of Crime Are More Often Reported To The Chicago Police Department, And Which Crimes Are More Often Solved?

Like in most places in the world, a majority of thefts and violent crimes often go unreported to law enforcement officers in the U.S. Moreover, a significant number of reported crimes go unsolved.

A 2019 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey established that only 32.5% of thefts and other property crimes and 40.9% of violent crime victims file police reports. Therefore, data from local police departments and the FBI doesn't paint a clear picture of the scale of crime in America.

Some of the reasons people don't report crime include the following:

  • Fear of revenge or reprisal from the assailants
  • A complete lack of faith in the police's ability to help
  • Embracement, i.e., the crime committed was a trivial matter
  • Some people believe they can solve their own problems
  • Loyalty or fear of local gangs, cartels, and other crime syndicates

It doesn't help that most reported crimes often go unsolved by the police if we go by FBI clearance rate directives—this is the percentage of cases that are closed due to; arrests, convictions, or referrals for prosecution.

As they say, "The wheels of justice grind surely, but slowly." In addition, the refusal by witnesses to testify or corporate with prosecutors only serves to frustrate the process. Only 17.2% of theft and property crime cases were closed in 2019. A more encouraging 45.5% of assaults and violent crimes were also brought to a conclusion in the same year.

The percentage of reported and solved crimes remained the same throughout the decades—this makes it easy to understand the lack of faith in the criminal justice system because things don't seem to change.

Why Do Victims Keep Quiet And Not Report Crimes To The Police?

The problem doesn't only stem from Mayor Lightfoot's use of the wrong datasets in analyzing Chicago's Crime problem. This issue persists mostly out of the fact that most crimes go unreported.

Most victims shut up, and some even relocate without reporting their assailants to the authorities. A 2020 BJS criminal victimization report found that only:

  • 40% of non-murder victims file police reports
  • 33% of victims of theft and other property crimes report to the police

These victims bear witness to crimes. They are supposed to testify and help the prosecutors score convictions against the perpetrators. However, many in Chicago know what happens when you blab to the authorities. There are too many examples of such reprisals. Some victims even pay with their lives. Hence, motor vehicle theft has increased, with 4,125 reported cases and only 358 arrests. There is also a concern about CTA riders who aren't afraid of the police. It feels as if Chicago's criminals are free to victimize other citizens. As a result, more people are choosing to leave the city.

Sometimes the victims take matters into their own hands. Cases of armed self-defense with knives are common in Chicago news. In Woodland, there's also a case where a carjacking victim drew a gun on an attacker, fatally wounding the assailant. This case was justifiable as the police established that a motor vehicle theft crew member was the first to draw his weapon.

Since 2019, victims wounded 45 attackers, with 31 succumbing to their injuries. More people are striking back against criminals—this demonstrates the public's complete lack of faith in the authorities. Such a tendency also shows why there are many unreported crimes in Chicago and other cities in the country.

Chicago residents are less inclined to call the police. As mentioned, it takes the overburdened Chicago PD too long to respond to emergency 911 calls—a factor that tipped the breaking point in 2021. People are less inclined to call the police after waiting for over an hour on previous occasions. New crime victims may just pick up and move on with their lives instead of running through hurdles to report to the police.

National Distribution of Crime by State

The distribution of crime cases varies between states and even cities. For instance, at least 800 reported cases per 100,000 people living in Alaska and California in 2019. However, according to the FBI, fewer than 200 such reports exist in Upstate New York and Maine.

This disparity is also apparent in cities of comparable size within the same state. In 2019, Oakland (population 434,036) had more than twice the number of crimes reported in Long Beach (population 467,974). That's despite both California cities having almost similar populations. Other factors, such as economic circumstances, may come into play.

How Do Demographics Affect Crime Victimization Rates?

According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, age, ethnicity, population density, income disparity, and other demographics directly affect crime levels.

A 2019 BJS national survey noted a significant difference between victimization rates by age and income, especially when it comes to violent crime. Younger and less financially stable people are more likely to report their victimization than older people with higher incomes.

For instance, the rate of victimization and filing of police reports for people that make less than $25,000 was more than double that of people that make over $50,000 per year.

There isn't a significant difference between males and females when it comes to victimization rates—the same goes for those that identify as Hispanic, white, or black. However, the rate was notably lower among Asians and other ethnicities.

On who is more likely to be an offender, most respondents seem biased against younger males, particularly those of African American origin. Those two groups seem to be perceived as most likely to commit violent crimes.

It's worth noting that several other factors that come into play. Most surveys have a potential for error, including the respondents' unfair or incorrect perceptions.

What is the government Doing To Reduce Crime

The Illinois state government's response to high crime rates is slow but holistic. It starts with after-school programs aimed at keeping the youth of crime by adding valuable skills that can enrich the community. More trade & craft courses are available that can empower people to set up their businesses.

The Chicago Police Department has not only increased police presence in high crime rate areas. It has also started community policing programs and partnerships with neighborhood watches and other community-based organizations.

Federal law enforcement, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has also realized the limitations of its current crime data collection system. They have remedied this by implementing the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

NIBRS provides more crime data like time, location, nature of injuries, and weapons used by perpetrators. It also includes demographics such as known offenders, age, race, and gender. Such technology allows the police to identify crime trends and step up their efforts in such areas.

The new system also throws out the hierarchy rule. Under such a rule, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies would press charges for the most serious offense. For instance, murder would be the only charge preferred for assailants, even if there was sexual assault, robbery, and other crimes involved. Under the new system, all crimes are tried in court.

The government also works to improve public trust in the police beyond community initiatives. Police now wear body cameras and report to civilian oversight boards for any infractions—this has helped increase accountability and transparency.

These well-meaning efforts have reduced crime in some areas. The main problem remains complex and an ongoing challenge for law-abiding citizens.


Is Chicago a safe city to live in?

Chicago has experienced a surge in crime in recent years, with the rate of major crimes going up by 41% compared to 2021. However, according to NeighborhoodScouts, Chicago is safer than most cities in the USA, and it did not make it to the 100 most dangerous cities in 2022.

How do the crime statistics of 2023 compare to previous years?

The crime statistics of 2023 show a significant increase in major crimes such as motor vehicle theft, robbery, burglary, theft, aggravated battery, and criminal sexual assault. The homicide and murder rates have reduced by 9% compared to 2022, but the murder rate increased by 78% compared to 2019.

What are the main types of crime in Chicago?

The main types of crime in Chicago include armed robbery, property crime such as motor vehicle theft and theft, aggravated assault, non-negligent manslaughter, and other violent crimes.

What can I do to secure my home, business, and valuable assets in Chicago?

Lock your parked car even if you're running a short errand, and don't leave anything valuable inside your car lying in plain sight. Consider installing CCTV cameras, joining neighborhood watches, and contacting private security firms.

What are the safest neighborhoods in Chicago?

According to, some of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago include Forest Glen, Edison Park, Norwood Park, Beverly, and Mount Greenwood.

How has the violent crime rate changed in the USA in recent years?

According to data from the FBI, the crime rate has dropped by 49% between 1993 and 2019, including a notable -68% lower robbery rate, -43% for aggravated assault, and -47% lower rate of homicide for the same period. Burglary has had the sharpest decline of -69%, while car theft has reduced by -64%. Property crime (-55%) and theft and other larceny cases have dropped by -49.

How do Americans feel about the level of crime in the country?

Despite the gradual decline in crime rates across the United States, most Americans seem to believe that crime is at an all-time high. According to a Gallup poll, 60% of the population lacks faith in law enforcement and community security initiatives.

What types of crime are more often reported to the Chicago Police Department, and which crimes are more often solved?

Only 32.5% of thefts and other property crimes and 40.9% of violent crime victims file police reports, according to a 2019 U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey. In 2019, only 17.2% of theft and property crime cases were closed, while a more encouraging 45.5% of assaults and violent crimes were also brought to a conclusion in the same year.

Why do victims keep quiet and not report crimes to the police?

Most victims of crimes do not report the incidents to the authorities for various reasons, including fear of revenge or reprisal from the assailants, a lack of faith in the police's ability to help, embarrassment, belief that the crime committed was a trivial matter, and fear of local gangs, cartels, and other crime syndicates.


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