An updated version of this post is available here with data through June 2018: Chicago’s Safest And Most Dangerous Neighborhoods 2018: Assault And Battery
Last week I analyzed homicides in Chicago, ranking community areas by their homicide rates as one measure of which are Chicago’s safest and most dangerous neighborhoods. However, the vast majority of Chicago’s crime doesn’t result in death, though it nevertheless often results in major deleterious consequences and creates a lot of fear in the city. And what people fear most are those crimes that threaten their person – such as assault and battery.
For that reason I also look at aggravated assault and battery, which is apparently a more serious form of just plain ol’ assault and battery because the victim gets really aggravated during the process. (All kidding aside it really is a more serious form of the two crimes for any of a variety of reasons that might include the use of a weapon, injury, intent, etc…)
As I’ve done in the past I excluded domestic incidents since these are not what people are concerned about when they consider the safety of a neighborhood. Also, robbery is a separate category from assault and battery so that is not included.
For the 12 months ending in June 2016 there were close to 10,600 incidents compared to around 8,200 incidents when I did this last year. (Yeah, crime’s getting worse.) Then, much like I did with the homicide data, I calculated the number of incidents per 100,000 people by community area (technically not the same as neighborhoods) and ranked the communities in the graph below. Again, you’ll want to click on that teeny tiny graph to get it to enlarge and turn on the horizontal scroll bar.
Once again you’ll notice that the Loop has a lot of activity relative to its population but that’s probably due to the huge daily influx of people. And, as a resident of West Town, I was dismayed to see that area ranked pretty high on the list – e.g. higher than Uptown.
In addition, I plotted all these incidents on a map so that you can see exactly what happened where and when. The map is interactive so you can pan and zoom, you can open a full page version of the map (but it takes a while to load with all this data), you can share it, and you can click on each of the balloons to get more information on the crime.
Once you zoom in on the map (and you need to really zoom in to spread out the points) and pan around a bit you can get a much better sense of where the safest and most dangerous neighborhoods are for aggravated assault and battery. The community areas are rather large and the incidence of these crimes can be greater from one end of a community area to another.
One thing you will notice in the map is that aggravated assault and battery is more prevalent along busy streets and intersections – just the opposite of what you might expect. For example: Milwaukee Ave, Michigan Ave, State St, and Clark St – especially around Wrigley Field. I’ve always attributed this to higher concentrations of people that can get into altercations – especially people leaving bars late at night.
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.