LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville saw more homicides in 2020 than ever before. Not only is the city on pace to break the previous year's record, it is also reporting more youth homicides than in years past.
As more and more young people are killed, it is important to understand if the statistics are unique to Louisville or part of a larger trend of youth violence. Looking at numbers from other cities in the region could give a better understanding of Louisville's situation.
Louisville Metro has had 151 homicide victims so far in 2021. Of those victims, 21 are aged 17 or younger, making up 14% of homicides. City to city, the way homicide statistics are tracked differ, but all show some rate of teen homicide victims.
St. Louis has had 143 homicides so far this year, 18 of them were 19 and younger, meaning about 12% of the city's homicide victims are juveniles. The city's population is lower than Louisville's by a couple hundred thousand.
Nashville has had a total of 88 homicides, eight of whom are juveniles. The city has far less homicides than Louisville though it has a larger population.
While the city of Cincinnati has reported 63 homicides, 17 are youth victims. Roughly 26% of the city's homicide victims did not have a chance to vote, serve the country or enroll in college.
According to the statistics, Louisville's problems appear to be something with which the entire country is struggling. In 2019, which is the most recent year available, the FBI reported 484 homicide victims under the age of 18, and homicide numbers are increasing everywhere.