As of October 2015, cities in the United States with the highest murder rates include Milwaukee, St. Louis, Baltimore, Washington and New Orleans. Other high-murder cities are Kansas City, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Philadelphia.
Over 30 cities in the United States have reported significant increases in murders since 2014, including Milwaukee with just over 100 murders so far in 2015, up from the 86 recorded in 2014. Similarly, New Orleans has recorded 120 murders in 2015, compared to 98 in 2014. Baltimore has seen 215 murders in 2015, compared to 138 in 2014; Washington has reported 105 homicides, compared to 73 in 2014; and St. Louis has reported 136 murders this year, compared to 85 at the same time in 2014. In 2015, murders have increased in New York City by 9 percent, while the murder rate in Chicago is up nearly 20 percent from the same time in 2014.
Law enforcement officials do not know the specific reasons for such significant increases in the number of murders, but they believe rivalries among gangs, drug activity, the widespread availability of guns and less aggressive policing lie at the heart of the violence. Other theories posit that more young people are resolving minor disputes with guns. In spite of the recent upward trajectory in murder rates in some cities, combined murder and violent crime rates overall in the United States are below their high points recorded in the 1980s and 1990s.