(WFRV) – Two cities in Wisconsin are among the 50 cities across the nation that have seen an increase in homicides since 2020, a new study revealed.

According to WalletHub, homicide rates have risen by an average of 17 percent in 50 of the most populated U.S. cities, including Milwaukee and Madison, between Quarter 1 2020 and Quarter 1 2022.

These findings were derived from a study that used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Local Crime Statistics to look at first-quarter (Q1) homicide rates in 50 of the largest U.S. cities.

Using this data, experts compared these cities using their Q1 homicide rates to find out which cities have seen an increase in homicide rates from 2020 to 2022.

Highest increase in homicides per capita: 2022 vs 2020

  1. Cincinnati, Ohio & New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Atlanta, Georgia
  3. Louisville, Kentucky
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Highest increase in homicides per capita: 2022 vs 2021

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Cincinnati, Ohio
  3. Atlanta, Georgia
  4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina

Highest increase in homicides per capita: 2022

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Baltimore, Maryland
  3. Cincinnati, Ohio
  4. Memphis, Tennessee
  5. Kansas City, Missouri

Depicted below is an interactive map, provided by WalletHub, showcasing each state and how they ranked overall.

Source: WalletHub

Based on the map, the City of Milwaukee ranked sixth in having the highest increase in homicides during the pandemic, just behind Memphis, Tennessee and Baltimore, Maryland.

Madison trailed behind landing at the back of the pack in the 49th place.

According to the study, Madison was one of 10 cities that saw the lowest increase in homicides per capita in 2020 and 2022.

A former federal prosecutor and current lecturer in law at the University of California, Diane Birnholz, believes that the uptick in homicides in the last three years was heavily influenced by the pandemic.

Birnholz alleges that the pandemic negatively affected many areas of life that are helpful in keeping homicide rates down. Birnholz claimed the pandemic had the following negative impacts:

  • The pandemic heightened feelings of stress, frustration, depression, and isolation.
  • The pandemic caused there to be a decrease in policing due to officers being in quarantine or falling ill with the virus.
  • Prisoners were released and/or received early release due to pandemic concerns among the prison population.

“Another aspect of the pandemic that may have influenced crime rates was the release, or early release, of prisoners due to pandemic concerns in the prison population,” shared Birnholz.

With this in mind, Birnholz said that she is hopeful that once more people get vaccinated and people start returning back to in-person interactions this will help alleviate some of the tension and problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hopefully, as more and more people get vaccinated, we will see a sustained rebound in the economy and a return of face-to-face contact, community outlets, and interventions that help prevent violent crime in the first place,” shared Birnholz.