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City Dashboard: Gun Homicide



In 2022, cities across the country are still grappling with the heightened rates of gun violence brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gun homicides rose 35 percent at the pandemic’s onset in 2020, and this upward trend continued through 2021, though at a slower rate, with an 8 percent increase. Preliminary data from January through September of 2022 suggests that gun homicides are finally stabilizing, with a one percent decrease from the year-to-date prior—though significant declines are still necessary to return to pre-pandemic rates.

Against this backdrop, in 2021 (i.e., the most recent available full year of data) the country’s leading source of city gun violence data—the FBI—overhauled its data collection system, leaving huge gaps in data and thus questions about city-level trends. For those cities that did report, below is the most recent, available, reliable data on gun homicides from 2017 to 2021 in over 300 cities.

Key Findings

  1. Per the CDC, the nationwide firearm homicide rate was 8.3 percent higher in 2021 than it was the year prior.1Simon TR, Kegler SR, Zwald ML, et al. Notes from the Field: Increases in Firearm Homicide and Suicide Rates — United States, 2020–2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1286–1287. DOI: Across the 336 cities that reported data to the FBI in 2021, the homicide rate increased 12.8 percent.
  2. The five cities that experienced the biggest increases in their gun homicide rates in 2021 (based on the 336 cities reporting data to the FBI) were Pueblo, CO (+119 percent); Amarillo, TX (+117 percent); Lansing, MI (+112 percent); Austin, TX (+86 percent); and Fayetteville, NC (+77 percent) and the five that experienced the biggest decreases were Corpus Christi, TX (-48 percent); Boston, MA (-45 percent); Grand Rapids, MI (-38 percent); Wilmington, NC (-35 percent); and Dayton, OH (-34 percent).
  3. Of the 10 largest US cities, 2021 gun homicide rates increased in one (Houston, TX, +13%), decreased in one (San Diego, CA, -27%), remained about the same in three (Philadelphia, PA, +0 percent; San Antonio, TX, +1 percent; and Dallas, TX, +2 percent), and were unreported in five (Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Phoenix, AZ; San Jose, CA).
  4. Of the 10 US cities with the highest homicide rates in 2020—i.e., the last year of comprehensive FBI data coverage—five (Baltimore, MD; Gary, IN; Jackson, MS; New Orleans, LA; St. Louis, MO) did not report data to the FBI in 2021.
  5. Reporting of city-level gun violence data to the FBI is not mandatory. Due to underreporting—a problem that worsened significantly following the FBI’s data collection system overhaul— nearly every gun violence estimate generated by the FBI in 2021 suggested that rates could have increased or decreased, making it nearly impossible to identify trends across city types or the nation overall.2FBI, The Transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS): A Comparison of 2020 and 2021 NIBRS Estimates. (Washington, DC, 2022),
Everytown analysis of 2017-2020 FBI Supplementary Homicide Report (accessed September 2021) and 2021 FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System (accessed October 2022).

Compare Gun Homicide Across Cities

Everytown analysis of 2020 FBI Supplementary Homicide Report (accessed September 2021) and 2021 FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System (accessed October 2022).

Data Tables: Gun Homicide

Everytown analysis of 2020 FBI Supplementary Homicide Report (accessed September 2021) and 2021 FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System (accessed October 2022).

Methodology and Sources

Gun homicide data featured in this dashboard is drawn from the FBI’s annually released Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) for the period of 2017 to 2020, and their National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) starting in 2021. The FBI defines gun homicides as “murders, non-negligent manslaughters, killings of felons by law enforcement officers or private citizens, and negligent manslaughters.”

All cities with populations of at least 65,000 and a local law enforcement agency that reported twelve months of data per year were included. Across the country, city definitions and geographic boundaries lack clarity and are often conflated with counties, metropolitan statistical areas, and more localized communities within them. This dashboard uses Census places to define city boundaries and populations and allocate law enforcement agencies. For county-level data, please see EveryStat.

Rates and percent changes are only calculated for cities with firearm homicide counts of 10 people and above. Averages are calculated based on the selected and displayed cities. Victim characteristic graphics are calculated using FBI five year totals, and due to rounding, graphs may not add to 100 percent.


  1. FBI Supplementary Homicide Report, 2016-2020 (accessed September 2021)
  2. FBI National Incident Based Reporting System 2021 (accessed October 2022)
  3. American Community Survey 2016 to 2021 (accessed October 2022)

Everytown Research & Policy is a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence. Everytown Research & Policy works to do so by conducting methodologically rigorous research, supporting evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public.

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