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5 more killings mean 2021 second-worst year on record in Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Five killings in Kansas City during Christmas week brought the 2021 total to 156, making it the second-deadliest year on record for Missouri’s biggest city.

Only last year was worse, when Kansas City had 182 homicides, the Kansas City Star reported. This year topped the 155 killings that occurred in 2017.

The entire Kansas City metropolitan area, including the Kansas suburbs, has seen 215 homicides in 2021.

Mayor Quinton Lucas, on Twitter, said the city will “never stop trying” to reduce the number of killings, calling it Kansas City’s “greatest challenge.”

If the total remains unchanged, Kansas City would end 2021 with a homicide rate of 30.7 per 100,000 people.

The city of St. Louis, which has recorded 189 homicides as of Monday, is on track to end 2021 with a homicide rate of at least 62.7 per 100,000.

Like Kansas City, homicides in St. Louis are down compared to 2020. St. Louis had 263 homicides in 2020; its rate set a record.

Editor’s note: An earlier version incorrectly had the homicide rate as percentages.

HOMICIDES IN ST. LOUIS, 1970-2021

Because the total number of homicides in the city of St. Louis hit a historic high in 1993 and the city’s population remains well below its peak in 1950 (and lower than any decade since 1860), the homicide rate recorded in 2020 was the highest in at least 150 years, and likely the highest-ever in St. Louis history.

* Updated on Nov. 3, 2021 with 2020 population total. ** Homicides through Dec. 31, 2021, as of Jan. 4, 2022. Rate based on 2020 population.Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch archives; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; U.S. Census.

YEAR POPULATION HOMICIDES RATE PER 100K
1970 622,236 266 42.7
1971 602,600 220 36.5
1972 579,600 205 35.4
1973 539,300 215 39.9
1974 530,800 202 38.1
1975 514,000 241 46.9
1976 505,300 224 44.3
1977 486,800 195 40.1
1978 470,900 211 44.8
1979 457,500 265 57.9
1980 450,790 225 49.9
1981 454,166 264 58.1
1982 455,362 226 49.6
1983 457,262 152 33.2
1984 442,528 128 28.9
1985 431,109 169 39.2
1986 434,298 195 44.9
1987 429,414 153 35.6
1988 425,187 140 32.9
1989 405,066 158 39.0
1990 396,685 177 44.6
1991 399,858 260 65.0
1992 402,573 231 57.4
1993 387,053 267 69.0
1994 390,437 248 63.5
1995 371,425 204 54.9
1996 374,041 166 44.4
1997 377,221 153 40.6
1998 344,153 113 32.8
1999 340,836 130 38.1
2000 348,189 123 35.3
2001 350,336 148 42.2
2002 353,004 113 32.0
2003 340,256 74 21.7
2004 335,143 114 34.0
2005 346,005 131 37.9
2006 346,879 129 37.2
2007 348,197 138 39.6
2008 356,204 167 46.9
2009 355,208 143 40.3
2010 355,151 144 40.5
2011 320,454 113 35.3
2012 318,667 113 35.5
2013 318,416 120 37.7
2014 318,574 159 49.9
2015 317,095 188 59.3
2016 314,507 188 59.8
2017 308,636 205 66.4
2018 302,838 186 61.4
2019 300,576 194 64.5
2020 301,578 263 87.2*
2021 301,578** 196** 65.0**
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Because the total number of homicides in the city of St. Louis hit a historic high in 1993 and the city’s population remains well below its pe…

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