While they accounted for slightly more than a quarter of the city's population, 15 majority African-American wards on Chicago's South and West sides accounted for nearly two-thirds of the city's homicides from 2008 through 2010, according to an analysis of homicide data by The Chicago Reporter.
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In all, there were 931 murders committed in those 15 wards collectively during 2008, 2009 and 2010 with each ward experiencing at least 40 murders during the three-year period. In contrast, there were 15 other wards, most of them majority-white wards on the city's North Side, where a total of just 63 murders were committed during the same years. Each of those wards had fewer than 10 murders total from 2008 through 2010. The 43rd Ward, which sits along the lakefront a couple of miles north of the Loop, had no murders during those three years.
Here's a Chicago ward map produced by The Chicago Reporter showing the locations of all 1,422 murders committed in the city from Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2010, according to data maintained by RedEye using information from the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, the Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Breaking News Center.
The 24th Ward on the city's West Side led the city with 88 murders during that three-year period. The ward also leads the city in the number of aldermanic candidates on the ballot for Tuesday's election with 18. Another two individuals are mounting write-in campaigns. Last week on The Chicago Reporter's Barbershop Show, airing every Friday at noon on Chicago Public Media's Vocalo, some of the 24th Ward aldermanic candidates stressed that more police officers may not be the most effective solution to reduce violence. They suggested a more holistic approach that would include family services, youth programs, mentoring and jobs.
The three-year homicide figures suggest that similar discussions should be part of the aldermanic campaigns in the 28th, 20th, 17th, 6th and several other African-American wards throughout the city. Below is a table with the three-year homicide totals for each of the city's 50 wards.
Maps created using Maptitude.