New York City is the principal place where the media and politicians can honestly point to and say, “it was way worse in the 80s and 90s.” Homicide rates in much of the country have returned to levels not seen in decades. Yet, NYC homicides are very low compared to what they were in the 80s and early 90s.
The city homicide rate peaked at 30.6 per 100k in 1990. However, in 1994, newly elected mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani launched major crackdowns on crime. He instituted a “broken windows policy,” in which offenders were punished harshly for minor offenses, so they wouldn’t re-offend and commit worse crimes. This is the opposite of what we see across the USA now, where the trend is to excuse those who commit minor crimes until they commit a more serious crime.
The NYC homicide rate fell for over twenty years, reaching a low of 3.5 per 100k in 2017. However, it has been rising each year since then. In 2021, the rate was 5.7 per 100k. A 63% increase over the low in 2017 and the highest homicide rate since 2011. However, 5.7 is still very low for NYC compared to 1971-1994.
However, we see the same racial trend in NYC that we find in every other city in America. Blacks commit homicides in wild disproportion to all other races.
2021: 488 homicides, 332 with known offenders
2020: 468 homicides, 276 with known offenders
2016: 335 homicides, 218 with known offenders
The Black category includes Blacks classified as Black Hispanics. The Hispanic category is all non-Black Hispanics.
Known Offenders in 2021:
3.0% Asian/Pacific Islander
Known offenders in 2020:
2.5% Asian/Pacific Islander
Known Offenders in 2016:
2.3% Asian/Pacific Islander