An updated version of this post is available here with data through June 2019: Chicago’s Safest And Most Dangerous Neighborhoods 2019: Assault And Battery
This is my final post in my 2017 series on Chicago’s safest and most dangerous neighborhoods. The previous two posts focused first on Chicago’s murders and then on the shootings. Each of those represent a fairly narrow definition of “safe” and “dangerous”. In an attempt to broaden the perspective a bit this post looks at aggravated assault and battery, excluding domestic crimes.
Here is my logic for this focus. When people think of safety and danger they are typically thinking in terms of their person and they’re not just worried about being shot at, stabbed, or killed. What they are really worried about is what is classified as aggravated assault and battery – a more serious type of assault and battery that could involve an injury, use of a weapon, intent to harm, etc… (Just to be clear this includes shootings.) And even though domestic violence is a terrible tragedy it’s not something people typically worry about when they are walking down the street.
However, I don’t want to give the impression that I consider this type of crime to be the ultimate definition of what is dangerous. As I’ve said in the past how dangerous or safe a neighborhood appears to be is an extremely subjective consideration and robberies, other forms of assault and battery, drug dealings, and prostitution might also factor into a person’s determination of whether or not they are comfortable living in an area. This final analysis doesn’t look at any of those factors.
For the 12 months ending in June 2017 there were 10,135 incidents of non-domestic, aggravated assault and battery in Chicago, down slightly from the comparable 12 month period one year earlier. As I’ve done in the previous two posts I aggregated those incidents by community area, calculated a crime rate per 100,000 residents, and then ranked the areas from lowest to highest crime rate. Once again you’ll want to click on the teeny tiny graph below to expand it and scroll through it.
You’ll notice that the pattern is very similar to what we saw for shootings with West Town having a considerably higher rate than other similarly priced areas. Also, the Loop has a very high crime rate but, as I’ve pointed out in the past, this is probably due to the huge influx of people to that part of the city every day such that their effective population is higher than the official numbers on which the calculation is based.
Chicago Crime Map
As I did previously I mapped out where all the aggravated assault and battery incidents took place in the map below. The map is interactive so you can pan and zoom, you can open a full page version of the map, you can share it, and you can click on each of the balloons to get more information on the incident. However, be warned that there is a lot of data on this map so it takes a while to fully load and the responsiveness to changes can be a bit slow.
Once you zoom in and out and pan around a bit you can get a much better sense of where the safest and most dangerous neighborhoods are based upon the crime rates I calculated. There are clear patterns of where the incidents are concentrated – such as west of Western and also along Milwaukee in Logan Square and West Town. For that matter any area with a high degree of activity is going to have a lot of incidents – for instance between LaSalle and Michigan Ave all the way from the South Loop to the Gold Coast. Similarly along Clark and Halsted in Lake View. The South side has a lot of incidents in general but significant portions of Bridgeport and New City are relatively free of crime as are the higher income areas of Hyde Park.
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service discount real estate brokerage. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.