Chicago Kids Exposed to High Rates of Violence: Study

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photo by Suhaib Hassan via Flickr

Most young children in Chicago live in communities with high rates of violence, even though homicides in the city dropped overall, a new study from the Erikson Institute finds.

Some 60 percent of the 176,319 children under age five in Chicago live in the communities where 91 percent of homicides occur. These 37 communities all experienced more than three homicides in 2018.

The study also found that 30 percent of children under five lived in communities with more than 10 homicides, and 7 percent lived in communities that experienced more than 30 homicides.

These findings are somewhat surprising given that population numbers and annual homicides rates in Chicago have dropped in recent years, the study observed. Community violence is still a large problem in Illinois, according to the Institute, which released a report earlier this year that found 436 violent crimes occur on average for every 100,000 people.

The first five years of a child’s life are especially formative, and exposure to violence can negatively affect a children’s development, the institute’s analysis found. Children exposed to violence during this stage are likely to become extremely fearful and show signs of aggression, anxiety and depression, among other issues.

The full report is available  here.

This  summary was prepared by TCR news intern Maria Trovato.

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