Monday, January 17, 2005

Chicago vs. Iraq Murder Rates - Recapitulation

Here in Chicago, they are celebrating a reduction of the murder rate to 450 murders in 2004 for a population of 2.8 million! Since Iraq has about 25 million people, at the same per capita rate, they would have 11 murders per day. It seems nearly every murder in Iraq makes the news!

Picture the Iraqi “insurgency” as a gang turf war, the insurgents vs. the Iraqi police with the Americans taking the role of the cops. It is quite dangerous to be in either gang! But the ordinary citizen tends to stay out of the line of fire. A massive police presence will cause the gangbangers to hide. So with a strong presence on 1/30/05, the election should come off well, just as in Afghanistan! But that puts the citizens in the government camp! Looks like the insurgents are going to lose the turf war!

But is this the way the media covers the situation? No! A Fox News Report reads...

“In Baghdad, meanwhile, three mortar shells exploded Saturday near the heavily guarded Green Zone (search), causing no casualties but sending American and Iraqi officials scurrying for cover. It marked the third straight day of rebel attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.”

It should read something like this “In Baghdad, with population 5 million people, three spitballs were thrown near the heavily guarded Green Zone, causing no casualties but annoying American and Iraqi officials. It marked the third straight day of “insurgent” attacks on the zone, the nerve center of the U.S. and Iraqi administration, after a lull of a couple of weeks.”

Here is some unrefuted reporting from the New York Times which shows that Iraq had 202 murders in 14 days or 14.4 per day! Iraqi population estimates vary, but for comparison purposes Chicago (at 450 confirmed murders in 366 days with a population of 2.8 million) had .439 murders per million per day. The two would be equal if Iraq's population was 32,858,867 people! Population estimates vary but about 25 million people live in Iraq. Therefore, the streets of Iraq are about as safe as the streets of Chicago though in both places there are some tough neighborhoods and you might not wish to be a member of particular organizations! The Iraqi trend is going down faster than Chicago's. Here are the links to Chicago murder statistics. Note that there can be minor adjustments over time so that the exact number will vary as cases are cleared.
I wonder what Rahm Emanuel and Dick Durbin will say about that?
Update 1/19/05 3:22 AM - The Belmont Club has an interesting article comparing the Iraqi sources who claim things are getting much better in the fight against the "insurgency" and the Associated Press which is hiding the name of the photographer who took the pictures of election workers being killed by "insurgents". The question is from whom does the photographer need protection, the "insurgents" or the police? It seems quite clear he was tipped off to the assassination beforehand and therefore is in league with the "insurgents". No wonder he fears the police! And so should the AP! Anybody else remember CNN's duplicity in its coverage of Saddam?


Blogger Eagle1 said...

I like it - fun with numbers! Let's just hope Chicago gangs don't decide to go with IEDs.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Diplomad said...

This is brilliant. I am going to steal it!

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out from the article you cited dude:

"Because of the limits placed on reporters and the military's need to inform families, there may have been additional casualties during this period that are not noted here. The map also does not include Iraqi civilians accidentally killed by coalition forces. Still, it is our attempt to visually depict the human cost of a fortnight in an embattled land."

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever Rahm comes up with, it'll probably make Tim Russert just as pissed trying to pin him down on it as he got trying to get a solid position out of Rahm last Sunday on Social Security...

Wind Rider
Silent Running

6:03 AM  
Blogger Eagle1 said...

More fun: Gary, Indiana (a Chicago suburb?) in 2003 had a murder rate of 67 per 100,000. My math skills says that's 670 per million or a murder rate of 1.84 per million per day. For a population of 25 million like Iraq- that's 45.9 murders per day, over 3 times the rate in Iraq reported by the NYT.

I guess we should give up on Gary (or maybe we already have) the insurgents are winning.

Source for Gary info:

9:37 AM  
Blogger ceejayoz said...

So we're to assume that the Iraqi police are as good at reporting murders as the Chicago police are?


2:11 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

Actually, it is NOT just Chicago. A study was done that
showed at least 6 Large U.S. cities were more dangerous
than Bagdad... New York and Los Angeles were 2 of them.

Outside of the U.S., the world's murder capitol, Rio De Janerio
was so far ahead of Bagdad that it was ludricrous.

2:33 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

a typo ---- Sorry!


2:34 PM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

a typo ---- Sorry!


2:34 PM  
Blogger StinKerr said...

As I suspected, the story on Fox is an AP story. Slightly better than Reuters or BBC but they still write slanted stories.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck you americans for being so ignorant. All you can do is compare something which you started in the first place with your hometown. The death toll in Iraq would be close to nil if it weren't for americans and their brainy ideas to steal all the oil the can. Greedy bastards!

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The inevitable, unavoidable troll emerges -

Yes, indeed - the streets and byways of Iraq were so much more peaceful under Hussein - that is, so long as you can successfully ignore or forget the tens of thousands of Iraqis shot, hanged, shredded, or otherwise put to death, then buried or "warehoused" by Hussein's hunter-killer cohorts.

But then, most of those were just Kurds or Shi'ites, so, I guess they don't count, do they?

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to quote from a friend's opinion:

"To compare the murder rate in Chicago to the "murder" rate in Iraq is completely bizarre and ignores the wider issues that face a country at war, plus I have a feeling you are not including the people killed by US Soldiers. I doubt the people in chicago have been invaded by another country and now live under the control of that country. I doubt the people of Chicago go without power for most of the day - go without phones - go without a feeling of security. I don't think the people of Chicago are being bombed or kidnapped as they leave their homes or places of worship nor are they watching the assassination, one after another, of people running for government of the city.

Things are bad in Iraq. To flippantly compare the stats ignores the plight of the real people who really live in the country"

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree, it's stupid, and to back up that last point - read this:

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and also read this:

6:19 PM  
Blogger regiomontano said...

This are interesting stats, but I wonder if the killing ratio of "202 murders in 14 days or 14.4 per day!" is sustained and can be linearized as you do. Also, you have to consider the murders as of a completely different nature: in Chicago it's street crime, while in Iraq you're taking into account only the deaths by terrorism, which I can bet don't equal the total number of murders. So your numbers probably are not exact. Anyway, it was nice to read your article and I hope too that elections on 31/1 will go without many loses and will free the Iraqi people from their opressors.. not Americans but International Terrorists!

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the same old lies about Iraq continue. I'm in Iraq now. Who I am and where I'm at I cannot say so you can take or leave what I say as truth. Iraq is more peaceful than the U.S. In the South around Al Basrah it is relatively peaceful as is the North (minus Mosul) where the Army has even started Little League teams. The areas near Baghdad are still pretty violent but it is a small part of the entire country. The difference between Chicago and Iraq is the violence in Iraq does not discriminate so it is more dangerous for your average civilian than in Chicago. We wish we could protect every individual but that is just not possible. The Iraqis need their own version of Wyatt Earp but they have been abused for so long they don't have the mentality to fight back yet, but they will given time. Most Iraqis, yes even the Sunnis, are glad we are here and want a chance but are staying neutral until things get better. Other Muslim countries that haven't gone somewhat democratic have a vested interest in seeing the Iraqi elections fail. If Democracy survives here that means those other countries are closer to losing their Monarchies, their dictatorships, and their abusive Theocracies. That is why the enemy is not the Iraqi people. It is Foreign Nationals, disgruntled former Baath members and plain old criminals who Saddam released prior to the war. As far as services the U.S. has gotten the infrastructure to the point that is better than pre-Gulf War levels without the threat of shutting down an entire city as a form of punishment such as was perpetrated by Saddam. And this was done in less than two years. To think that terrorists can be talked to, bartered with, or reasoned with is for the foolish. They have one thing in mind and that is the genocide of the Western Culture. Terrorism is like crime, it is not going away. The best we could ever hope for is containment. Iraq is a microcosm to a much larger threat and as long as they fight us here and not at home so be it. This, my friends, is our Armageddon and we better deal with it or lose.

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The British should be allowed to take over parts of Baghdad from the Americans as they're simply far superior troops.

They don't crack under the pressure and when they identify an enemy, they're extremely ruthless. Also this report that Chicago or Gary is as dangerous as Iraq is complete and utter nonsense.

Firstly, your murder rate for Iraq is absurdly low given that 50 people are killed in bombings daily at the moment (this is just the "terrorism" - there's more if you include the significant levels of common crime in the country).

Secondly, it's well known that 'exact' murder/homicide figures for Iraq are pretty much unavailable.

Thirdly, comparing a city and a small suburb of 3 million and 50,000 to 100,000 people respectively to a nation of 25 million is absurd.

Iraq's murder rate is certainly higher than Chicago's anyway, but let's pick out an area with a similar population to Gary in say, Baghdad. Gary would probably be dwarfed.

Also, the murder capital of the world at the moment is likely to be San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Again, like Iraq, hard statistics are virtually non-existent.

As far as cities with reliable stats, you're looking at Medellin (Colombia) and Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (both Brazil).

Though I believe Medellin's murders have gone down dramatically in the last two years alone.

4:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for posting that...
i have been to iraq and its no picnic. yes the U.S.A has dangerous cities, but in comparison to iraq, they are nothing in all honesty. listen, you cannot calculate and compare the homicides in chicago per year to the weekly homicide rate in lets say, baghdad. in baghdad, you are likely to be killed by and IED or mortar, and those arent even the total numbers. then you have insurgent fire. now lets look at chicago, 448 homicides for the whole year, versus about 100 people or more a month in iraq. the streets in iraq will by no means, ever be safer than the streets in chicago, let alone NYC, which still has a relatively higher homicide rate than chicago. take any chicago gang and place them in the middle of baghdad unrestricted, they wont last. its a completely different ballgame when people are blowing you up. please, let it go, the fact that are homicide rates at home are this high is embarrassing and it disgusts most of us who defend this country. its nothing to be proud of. there are bigger issues at hand then some ghetto neighborhoods.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Laser Hair Removal Chicago said...

there were twice as many murders this summer in Chicago as there were soldiers killed in can read it a few ways, but the way i think they're trying to frame it is... there's more americans dying right here in chicago than the entire country of iraq. Shouldn't we take care of our home first?

Thanks for this post,

3:28 PM  
Blogger MachiasPrivateer said...

The October 2008 statistics are 13 US military have died in Iraq, of which only 6 were as a result of combat.

This 11/8/08 article in the Chicago Sun-Times,two-teens-shot-englewood-110708.article reports that Chicago has had 447 murders so far in 2008, more than in either New York City or Los Angeles which have larger populations.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like you are in heaven! Here in Recife, one of the most important cities in Brazil we have the same population and an astoshing murder rate of 4.638 murders in 2006!!!
The local government is proudly publishing a reduction of 8 murders less than 2008. The numbers are: 2008 - 4023
2009 - 4015

Nice, isn't?

8:24 AM  

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