Discover 10 most deadly cities in US as homicides rise in Kern – Survey ranks Bakersfield

Bakersfield, a city in Kern County, California, has been grappling with a significant rise in violent crimes, particularly homicides, over recent years. This concerning trend has placed Bakersfield among the top ten most dangerous metropolitan areas in the United States, as reported by various sources. In this article, we delve into the details of this disturbing development, exploring the factors contributing to the rise in crime, the specific areas most affected, and the broader implications for the community and law enforcement.

The Alarming Rise in Homicides

In 2021, Bakersfield witnessed an unprecedented surge in homicides. According to data from KGET’s Homicide Tracker, there were 136 confirmed homicides across just 21 ZIP codes in Kern County, with Bakersfield accounting for a significant portion of these incidents​​. This marked a substantial increase from previous years and was notably driven by a 29% rise in homicides, making 2020 the deadliest year in the United States since the mid-1990s​​.

Bakersfield’s Ranking and Contributing Factors

The security site SafeWise ranked Bakersfield in the top ten most dangerous metro areas in America. Factors contributing to this ranking included high crime rates, theft, and the amount of money allocated to law enforcement​​​​. Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood acknowledged the violent crime issue, underscoring the need for more effective strategies to combat this trend.

Specific Areas of Concern

In Bakersfield, the 93307 ZIP code has been identified as having the highest number of homicides in 2023, with shootings being the predominant method of these violent acts. Out of eight confirmed homicides in this area, seven were shootings​​. This data highlights the necessity for targeted interventions in specific neighborhoods to address the root causes of violence.

Homicide Trends in 2023

Despite the alarming statistics in previous years, 2023 showed a potentially positive shift. With 75 homicides recorded by the end of the year, Kern County’s homicide rate was on track to be the lowest since before the pandemic and the lowest since 2015​​. This decline, although relative to the extremely high rates of preceding years, suggests that efforts to curb violence may be starting to yield results.

The Bigger Picture

The rise in crime in Bakersfield reflects broader trends observed across the United States. Factors such as economic disparities, social unrest, and challenges in law enforcement effectiveness contribute to the complex landscape of urban crime. In Bakersfield, the situation is further complicated by the city’s unique demographic and socio-economic factors.

Based on the latest data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, the following cities are ranked as the top 10 most deadly in the United States for the year 2023, with their respective murder rates per 100,000 people:

  1. St. Louis, Missouri: 64.54 murders per 100,000 people. St. Louis has consistently been ranked high for its murder rate, reflecting a longstanding issue with violent crime in the city.
  2. Baltimore, Maryland: 57.95 murders per 100,000 people. Baltimore has faced challenges with gang violence and drug trafficking, contributing to its high homicide rate.
  3. Jackson, Mississippi: 54.74 murders per 100,000 people. Factors such as poverty and gun violence have been cited as contributing to the high murder rate in Jackson.
  4. Detroit, Michigan: 49.28 murders per 100,000 people. Detroit’s economic struggles and issues with gang violence have been linked to its high rate of homicides.
  5. Memphis, Tennessee: 46.19 murders per 100,000 people. Memphis grapples with issues related to poverty and inequality, which have been associated with its violent crime rate.
  6. Kansas City, Missouri: 43.02 murders per 100,000 people. Kansas City has seen a rise in homicides, often attributed to gun violence and domestic disputes.
  7. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 42.68 murders per 100,000 people. The capital city of Louisiana faces challenges with drug-related violence and gang activities.
  8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 36.87 murders per 100,000 people. Milwaukee has been dealing with issues of poverty, segregation, and gun violence, impacting its homicide rate.
  9. Cleveland, Ohio: 36.16 murders per 100,000 people. Cleveland’s high murder rate has been partly attributed to gang-related activities and socio-economic disparities.
  10. New Orleans, Louisiana: 35.69 murders per 100,000 people. Known for its vibrant culture, New Orleans also struggles with a high rate of violent crime, often linked to drug trafficking and gang violence​​.

These cities share several common factors, including high poverty rates, levels of inequality, and issues with gang activity and gun violence. It’s important to note that while these cities have high homicide rates, the issue of violent crime is complex and multifaceted, often tied to deeper socio-economic problems.