JLF’s Jon Guze compares murder rates in cities across the nation to cities in North Carolina using an online analytical tool at AmericanViolence.org.

Here are the top 10 cities for 2017 along with each city’s average for 2012-2017. (The numbers represent murders/100,000 residents.)

                               2017          5-Year Average

St. Louis                69.46              56.44

Baltimore               56.23              46.92

Birmingham          44.86              36.32

New Orleans         44.25              43.05

Baton Rouge         39.18              26.13

Detroit                   38.99              42.89

Kansas City           30.96              24.83

Memphis               27.34              23.59

Chicago                 24.81              20.58

Newark                 24.43              33.89

Compared to any of the cities listed above, murder rates in North Carolina are quite low. Here are the rates for all the North Carolina cities on the list:

                                 2017           5-Year Average

Greensboro             14.55              10.94

Charlotte                 9.22                7.55

Durham                   8.20               10.96

Winston-Salem      n/a                 5.99

Raleigh                    5.78                4.11

As you can see, murder rates in North Carolina are a fraction of what they are in cities like St. Louis, Baltimore, or even in cities like Chicago and Newark.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say we can afford to be complacent. The trend is up in at least three of the five cities, and, in the case of Greensboro, it’s up by a significant amount.  Nevertheless, I’m going to add public safety to my list of reasons why I feel lucky to live in North Carolina.