51% Of Murders In The U.S. Come From Just 2% Of The Counties

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by John R. Lott, Jr. via Crime Prevention Research Center


The Distribution of Murders

The United States can really be divided up into three types of places. Places where there are no murders, places where there are a few murders, and places where murders are very common.

In 2014, the most recent year that a county level breakdown is available, 54% of counties (with 11% of the population) have no murders.  69% of counties have no more than one murder, and about 20% of the population. These counties account for only 4% of all murders in the country.

The worst 1% of counties have 19% of the population and 37% of the murders. The worst 5% of counties contain 47% of the population and account for 68% of murders. As shown in figure 2, over half of murders occurred in only 2% of counties.

Murders actually used to be even more concentrated.  From 1977 to 2000, on average 73 percent of counties in any give year had zero murders. Possibly, this change is a result of the opioid epidemic’s spread to more rural areas. But that question is beyond the scope of this study.  Lott’s book “More Guns, Less Crime” showed how dramatically counties within states vary dramatically with respect to murder and other violent crime rates.



Breaking down the most dangerous counties in Figure 2 shows over half the murders occur in just 2% of the counties, 37% in just the worst 1% of the counties.


Figure 1 illustrates how few counties have a significant number of murders. Figure 3 further illustrates that with a cumulative perspective. 54% of counties have zero murders, 69% have at most one murder, 76% have at most two murders, and so on. To put it differently, only the top four percent of the counties have 16 or more murders.

If the 1% of the counties with the worst number of murders somehow were to become a separate country, the murder rate in the rest of the US would have been only 3.4 in 2014. Removing the worst 2% or 5% would have reduced the US rate to just 3.06 or 2.56 per 100,000, respectively.


Even within the Counties with the murders, the murders are heavily Concentrated within those counties

When you look at individual counties with a high number of murders, you find large areas with few murders. Take Los Angeles County, with 526 murders in 2014, the most of any county in the US. The county has virtually no murders in the northwestern part of the county. There was only one murder each in Beverly Hills, Hawthorne, and Van Nuys. Clearly, different parts of the county face very different risks of murder.


The map below shows the distribution of murders in Indianapolis, with 135 murders. Although the city extends well beyond the 465 Highway that encircles downtown Indianapolis, there are only four murders outside of that loop. The northern half of the city within 465 also has relatively few murders.


Washington, DC has large areas without murders. 14th Street NW divides the eastern and western parts of the district, with murders overwhelmingly limited to the eastern half. The area around the capitol is also extremely safe.


Here is the murder map for Dallas.


Gun Ownership

According to a 2013 PEW Research Center survey, the household gun ownership rate in rural areas was 2.11 times greater than in urban areas (“Why Own a Gun? Protection is Now Top Reason,” PEW Research Center, March 12, 2013).   Suburban households are 28.6% more likely to own guns than urban households. Despite lower gun ownership, urban areas experience much higher murder rates. One should not put much weight on this purely “cross-sectional” evidence over one point in time, but it is still interesting to note that so much of the country has both very high gun ownership rates and zero murders.


This study shows how murders in the United States are heavily concentrated in very small areas. Few appreciate how much of the US has no murders each year.  Murder isn’t a nationwide problem.  It’s a problem in a very small set of urban areas, and any solution must reduce those murders.

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IndyPat's picture

Keep telling yourself that's why it's high.

divingengineer's picture

Singapore is densely populated, 4 murders in 2016, 2 in 2015.

yogibear's picture

Liberals,  doing a nice job of eliminating other liberals.

Notice the violent cities are liberal strongholds?

decon's picture

I posted the same point above before I read your comment.

undertow1141's picture

I will point out that a majority of those murders in LA county are in Maxine Waters(D) district.

Offthebeach's picture

Those that are murdered, are brought into "da community " by white CIA agents working for the Bush family.

FrankDrakman's picture

That makes sense. If that ignorant bitch was my representative, I'd want to kill someone too!

malcolmevans's picture

No, showing per capita murders would be even less informative because there isn't a normal statistical distribution across all population groups within the county. The most informative illustration would break it down by catagories too obvious to mention and too politically incorrect to print. 

Pickleton's picture

Looks like Trump was right, the places infested with illegals are infested with murder.

LN's picture

Without reading the article, I would ask what are the self defense policies of these counties?  More specifically, their stance on the Second Amendment.

Was I far from the mark?



TheBigCluB's picture

Dallas as with all of Texas is typical Texas. If you show up without a gun in Texas, they will lend you one until you can get your own.

LN's picture

"Despite lower gun ownership, urban areas experience much higher murder rates."

Okay, I read part of the article, and someone is still surprised by this FACT?

Wake me when it's over.


tmosley's picture

Control for nigger/mexican population. I think you will find a direct correlation.

deplorable nation's picture

God damn Scot-Irish Presbeyterians!

divingengineer's picture

Bloodthirsty Swedish Lutheran Orcs.

TheBigCluB's picture

I lived just outside the 610 in Houston in the 80's.. War zone after 2 am.

Son of Loki's picture
Texas backs tough 'sanctuary city' ban as federal push slows


AUSTIN, Texas --

The Texas House approved a strict ban on "sanctuary cities" Thursday, empowering local police to enforce federal immigration law against anyone they detain and threatening police chiefs and sheriffs who refuse to do so with jail.




As an aside, Houston has 1-2 homicides/night nowadays almost always committed by a black on a black with a handful of Mexican gang killings here and there and seldom a white killing anyone. My cousin worked in an ER there ( I think he said Herman?) but said it is a war zone at night there like most major cities.

undertow1141's picture

In the GUnsPOint area, oh I mean GreensPoint.

rockstone's picture

Which is way outside the loop and used to be a decent middle class area.

I left for 20 some years. Came back and wondered why that whole area along w FM 1960 had been ceded? It doesn't resemble Texas to me.

unsafe-space-time's picture

How about sending all high risk males to Liberia? You should have elected Rodrigo Duterte

Hongcha's picture

Blacks bangin' blacks.  That tells me all I need to know.  They will have to police their own, seems we can't.  Last good chance they had was Malcolm X and the NOI.  They are fragmented now, biting the hand that feeds them.  Sad state of affairs in a history of sad states.

undertow1141's picture

An average IQ of 87. Versus 102 for whites. Explains alot.

AKKadian's picture

Ok this is a black white issue. Obviously blacks kill blacks and whites kill whites and some time there is a cross over. Common denominator poverty and the shit holes that poverty resides in, ghettos, slums, barrios and you're local trailer park. All of these are gun free zones, only in the mind of the progressive.!!!   

Dancing Disraeli's picture

Common denominator is race only.  Whites during the depression were not killing each other.

FireBrander's picture

Few people were poorer than my gun toting grandparents...and they never killed anyone; humans that is...dear, rabbits, pheasants didn't fare too well...

Kat Daddy's picture

I had  no idea LA was so bad, with all that crime, sheeeeee.........!

undertow1141's picture

But remember LA's mayor says his sanctuary polices make LA safer. I think he's a liar.

rockstone's picture

Or a fucking idiot......or both!

Lore's picture

It doesn't seem like coincidence that movies like The Purge and its sequels get released for public consumption. A fully implemented Purge would depopulate whole neighborhoods overnight.

FireBrander's picture

I was in LA recently...you go from heaven to ghetto and back just driving across town...go to little Tokyo; nice place...go one block south...YIKES!

Sign posted on the door of one Little Tokyo shop...paraphrasing..."We have guns, you try to rob us, we will shoot you"..I kid you not.

Common_Cents22's picture

WOW!  trump should point this out in a national address and put all the liberal cities/counties on notice of embarrassment.

newworldorder's picture

The problems of gun violense can be attributed mostly to the acticvities of Black and Latino Gangs and gang members, their drug trade, gang banging and gun running, all witnessed daily by the communities in which those gangs live and 'work' in.

The communities that the gang activity exists in are primarily represented by the Democrat Party.  And please do not ever forget that it is all whiteys fault.

man from glad's picture

Let California secede. Build another wall WITHOUT the door in the middle.

TheBigCluB's picture

I think it is time I started a  guided outfit for hunting into the ghetto..Guaranteed a big buck or your money back.

Common_Cents22's picture

sounds like a shocking stat but its surprising 5% counties have 47% of population.  obviously big liberal cities with liberal policy enabling major violent crime.

VWAndy's picture

 These are also the places where the we know whats best come from. Kinda funny when ya think about it.


Forget PEW Research, I would go to https://pewtactical.com

CompassionateConservative's picture

This article is racist and therefore hate speech.  Folks, the truth is that black people do commit most of the crime but that is irrelevant because we have to use this crime in a positive way to ban guns that way white nazi goyim can't resist the plans of the Jewish people who are God's Chosen.  If you don't turn in your guns it could lead to anudda shoah when you decide to resist.  This is what happened in Germany in the 1930s.  They turned into evil nazi bastards and started brutally delousing a bunch of these totally innocent rat faced, mass murdering, Christ killing, bolshevik butcherers in fake shower rooms because jews played the leading role in Soviet bolshevism which was threatening all of Europe.  You don't want to be called a NAZI and a RACIST of course because that's the worst fate imaginable so just TURN IN YOUR GOD DAMNED GUNS!!  

SuperChicken1138's picture

guns aren't the problem, people are. please remember the second amendment is to keep the first. 

Frank Zappa Statement: Zappa talks about the biggest problem in the world, bad mental health. Rockpalast, March 18th, 1976. WDR, Germany. 



Lorca's Novena's picture

1 murder in Van Nuys? I call bullshit... (Ban Neyez)

lasvegaspersona's picture

Chief, there might be something to this...think we should investigate?

...Nah, I'm sure the FBI will do that for us.....

N0TME's picture

I don't see Cook County??? WTF?

I Write Code's picture

Rezone South Central agricultural, get some nice avocados and fresh lettuce, and no murders.

AlbertthePudding's picture

much better to murder a big meal!