Deadly Poverty

Homicide is just one of many killers plaguing Chicago’s poor black neighborhoods



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Chicago’s homicide rate has drawn headlines this year, locally and nationally, and not without reason. Through July, 308 people had been slain here, 27 percent more than in the first seven months of 2011.


Every life lost to homicide is a tragedy, of course—and a sense that the life was unfairly taken often heightens the pain. Compounding the unfairness, residents of certain neighborhoods are far more likely to suffer that fate.


We illustrated this last month by comparing homicide rates in two sets of Chicago communities—the five poorest and the five least poor. The homicide rate in the poorest neighborhoods was 11 times the rate in the least-poor neighborhoods. 

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