A few weeks ago I began playing around with the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports. These datasets contain information on individual murder victims and offenders that are aggregated and published under the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report program. It takes some canoodling, but the data on murder exists all the way from 1968 to 2015. Add in some data from NOPD and the final product is a record of nearly every homicide victim in New Orleans from 1968 to present available here for anyone to view.
The spreadsheet holds information on each homicide’s year, reported population, month, age, race and sex of the victim. There are 10,000 records overall and you can do near things like the below chart of New Orleans homicide victims per month going back to 1968:
Or the below chart showing the average and median age of a homicide victim in New Orleans over the last half century. According to this chart homicide victims the last 18 months have been older on average than they have been in two decades.
This dataset comes with some important caveats, namely:
- It’s incomplete. The FBI received no data from New Orleans for 1991 as well as partial data for 1977, 1980, 1987, 1990, 2005, 2008 and 2013. I supplemented the 2008 and 2013 data with NOPD homicide spreadsheets and used NOPD’s homicide spreadsheets for 2016. Matt Sledge’s 2017 murder count filled in 2017.
- Each row is a homicide, not a murder. Some years only murders were reported to the FBI, but some years differ from the official murder count by a few.
- The race column does not have Hispanics since they were only counted in the last few years.
Noting the caveats I hope this dataset will be of use to somebody somewhere and will try to update it as often as I can.