Apr 17, 2024 - News

San Diego sees a steep decline in slayings so far in 2024

Change in year-to-date reported homicides in selected major U.S. cities, 2023 to 2024
Data: AH Datalytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of homicides in major American cities is falling at its quickest pace in decades — especially in San Diego.

Why it matters: The nation is on track to see one of the lowest levels of violent crimes and homicides since former President Obama was in office, following huge pandemic-era jumps in homicides.

By the numbers: Homicides declined by nearly 20% in 204 cities during the first three months of 2024, compared to the same period last year, according to AH Datalytics (AHD), a criminal-justice consulting firm.

  • At this pace, the murder rate in the U.S. could match its level in 2014 when many cities saw 30-year lows in violent crime and homicides.
  • The big decline in homicides, as calculated by AHD, was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Zoom in: San Diego has seen a 48% decline so far — one of the most remarkable dips for big cities.

  • Boston saw a massive 82% drop, the most among any city.
  • Homicides in Chula Vista declined 50%.

Reality check: Los Angeles saw a noticeable jump in homicides in the first three months of 2024 compared to last year.

  • That Los Angeles spike is more than 9%.

The big picture: San Diego's sharp decline in homicides to start 2024 follows an overall decline in crime last year, as Axios reported last month.

  • Crime in the city declined 2.7% last year, following a 7.5% decrease in 2022.
  • Homicides fell to 45 in 2023 after reaching 57 in 2021.
  • There have been 11 killings so far in 2024, compared to 21 during the same period of 2023.

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