The Windy City may sweep you off your feet. Nearly 2.75 million people live in the city of Chicago. They enjoy Chicago’s rich history, thriving economy, and vibrant culture and arts scenes.
But living in Chicago isn’t perfect. Chicago crime levels are high, and the city has developed an infamous reputation for violence. Before you can make your move to Chicago, you need to know some facts.
What do the crime statistics in Chicago reveal, and is Chicago safe at all? Why are the crime rates in the city so high? What are some tips you can follow to keep yourself safe?
Answer these questions and you can decide where your next home should be. Here is your quick guide.
Chicago Crime Statistics
Chicago crime statistics can seem harrowing. In 2021, 797 people were murdered in the city, which is the most since 1996. More than 3,500 shooting incidents occurred, with thousands of people getting injured.
But the statistics conceal a few things. The majority of shootings occur amongst gang members and do no harm to others. The police have taken thousands of guns off the street, diminishing the risk of shootings that affect ordinary civilians.
The city of Chicago is massive, both in physical size and population. Your odds of being involved in a shooting, let alone getting harmed or murdered in one, are low.
Chicago’s rise in crime reflects nationwide statistics. New York and Los Angeles are seeing similar upticks in murders and shootings. This uptick has to do with the pandemic and record sales of guns, which the city of Chicago has little to do with.
Moving and Safety Tips
You can take several steps to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of crime. You can tell your friends and relatives about your move to Chicago. But you should not post where you are moving to on social media, as criminals can see where you are and plot a break-in.
You should look at a few different Chicago neighborhoods. The areas around the University of Chicago and Forest Glen West tend to be safer than other neighborhoods. Talk to real estate agents about different properties you can move into.
After you move in, you should lock your doors and install curtains over your windows. You should also move all valuables into drawers and locked containers away from your windows. While you are alone at night, you should walk quickly and carry a weapon with you.
Do not panic if a crime happens to you or in front of you. Do not resist a robbery, and do not attack a shooter. Protect yourself by evacuating from the scene and remaining low to the ground.
Living in Chicago Safely
Living in Chicago can give you opportunities and risks. Violent crime rates are increasing, and Chicago experiences more murders than New York or Los Angeles.
However, rates are increasing due to nationwide trends. Most murders occur amongst gangs, so you have only a small risk of violence.
You should adopt a few common measures to keep yourself safe. You should lock your doors, put your valuables out of sight, and protect your body during emergencies.
There are other parts of life in Chicago you should know. Read more Chicago guides by following our coverage.