Chicago made unwanted news with its grim title as the nation’s leader in homicides in 2012—515 murders last year alone.
But behind that news lies another unfortunate fact: A disproportionate number of both Chicago’s murder victims -- and the city’s killers – are children or younger adults: Nearly half of all Chicago residents killed in the past five years were under the age of 25, and more than half of Chicago residents who committed homicides were under 25—even though this age group makes up only one third of Chicago’s residents overall.
From January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012, 1,118 people younger than 25 were killed in Chicago. Calling this a “youth homicide epidemic,” investigative reporter Alden Loury analyzes these numbers for NBC5’s partner publication, The Chicago Reporter—and finds that the number of Chicago’s youth killed in 2012 increased 11 percent from 2011, and 26 percent from 2010. He also found major disproportion in where these youth murders take place.
Loury’s extensive analysis includes an interactive map of all homicides involving young people in Chicago in the past five years. Also featured are photographs by Carlos Javier Ortiz, which are part of “Too Young to Die,” a long-term documentary project currently in its sixth year.