For years I've written about murder rates. And I've been most interested in regional differences which deep historical roots. But today there are dramatic differences which don't line up so clearly.
I was just reminded of this when I saw this article about the murder rate this year in Detroit. So far this year, there have been 375 homicides in Detroit. But you can't really make sense of that number without putting it into the context of population. In those terms, there were 53 homicides in Detroit per 100,000 people.
In New York City, there were 5 homicides per 100,000 residents. 10 times more. That's just breath-taking -- not terribly surprising if you follow crime statistics but still breath-taking.
Chicago, to get some perspective is currently at about 20 per 100,000.