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Despite high murder count, Austin murder rate consistent with other big cities, study says

Austin was in the lower half of cities in terms of murder rate. (Pexels)

Austin's murder count may be the highest it has been since 1984 but that's not unique to our city. Since the third quarter of 2019, homicide rates nationwide have risen by an average of 34%.

The capital city is growing like a weed—it's the fastest-growing large metropolitan area in the U.S.—but the growth in murder cases is happening in all 50 states, according to Police Chief Joseph Chacon. A new study by WalletHub finds that despite Austin's population jump, the homicide rate is not an outlier compared with the other 49 biggest cities in America.

Source: WalletHub

On the 100-point scale, a zero indicates the lowest homicides and 100 indicates the highest homicides. The scores are calculated out of 50 points for homicides per capita from Q3 in 2021, 25 points for changes in homicides from Q3 in 2021 vs. Q3 in 2020, and 25 points for changes in homicides from Q3 in 2021 vs. Q3 in 2019.

In fact, Texas fared pretty well on the list overall. Austin fell in the bottom half of the list in 32nd place with a score of 37.67. Both Dallas and Arlington came in with higher homicide cases per capita than Austin, in 24th and 30th places, respectively. Two Texas cities came in lower: Fort Worth in 43rd and El Paso in 46th place.

Sandwiched between Tusla, OK, and Madison, WI, Austin scored 1.79 points for homicides per capita in Q3 of 2021—the 10th lowest across the entire list. Baltimore, Maryland, topped this category with a score of 13.79, while Lincoln, Nebraska, came in lowest with a score of zero.

In terms of changes between Q3 in 2021 and 2020, Austin came in 16th highest with a score of 0.63, though it was higher than any other Texas city on the list for this category. Highest on the list overall, Atlanta, Georgia was No. 1 for this category with 2.86 points and Cincinnati, Ohio was last, with a score of -4.89.

Finally, between changes in Q3 for 2021 and 2019, Austin hovered right around the middle of the list in 27th place with a score of 0.74 below Arlington and Fort Worth. Louisville, Kentucky, has seen the highest increase, with a score of 5.18, whereas Kansas City, Missouri, saw the biggest decrease with a score of -4.32.

Austin's murder count has been a topic of conversation as the city simultaneously faces a shortage of police officers for months. Austin voters will vote on a proposition in the upcoming November election that would add more police officers to the department, which proponents say will make the city safer but opponents say will hurt funding for other departments in the city.


1923 Lake Austin mansion demolition request pitting preservationists and some neighbors against owner and city preservation office
Austin Monitor

By Jonathan Lee

The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.

The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'

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Freaky Floats and other Austin food & drink news
Austin Motel

What's new in Austin food & drink this week:

  • Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
  • Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
  • Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
  • Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
  • Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
  • Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
  • The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
  • Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
  • P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.