LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – In 2021, the Pew Research Center recorded one of the nation’s largest year-over-year increases in homicides. Another recent study found the 50 cities in the U.S. that saw the largest increases in homicide rates.

The study, from WalletHub, found Lousiville saw the seventh-largest increase in homicide rates among the largest U.S. cities, from the start of 2020 until the start of 2022.

The ranking is calculated by taking the number of homicides per capita at the start of 2022 versus the change in cases per capita from 2020 and 2021.

Louisville’s largest jump was from 2020 to 2022 where it ranked fourth. This is compared to the single year jump from 2021 to 2022 where it actually ranked closer to the bottom in the 46th place. These two scores are balanced out to bring Louisville to the seventh spot overall.

Louisville’s neighbor, Cincinnati, Ohio, ranked poorer taking the second spot overall. Kentucky’s further neighbor Memphis, Tennessee, ranked fifth overall.

Source: WalletHub

Statements released with the study, from justice and law professionals, addressed the increase in homicides.

“The last year has been a period of instability/challenge with covid, social unrest, and political change,” said Christopher Salvatore, MA, Ph.D. Montclair State University.

Salvatore, an associate professor of justice studies, also highlighted that many crimes happen between people who already know each other.

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“We had people forced to stay home, a large portion of crimes are committed by those we know–so crimes that recently increased such as domestic violence, assaults, and homicide may be due to interpersonal conflicts, increased use of drugs and alcohol, as well as increased social and economic pressures due to the pandemic,” said Salvatore.

While not featured in the study, Lexington has also seen an increase in violent crimes which was discussed by the Lexington Police Department at the end of 2021.