For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Gun deaths In big cities surged during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic

Line chart showing the increase in gun deaths in big U.S. cities from 2010 to 2021

June 27, 2023

In partnership with the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative created a new data brief and infographic using twelve years of data from the Big Cities Health Inventory, an open-source platform providing health metrics for the 35 large U.S. cities that comprise the BCHC.

The work shows that, in BCHC cities:

  • Lives lost to gun deaths rose 65% in the past twelve years, with huge increases during 2020-2021 (the height of the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • Gun violence disproportionately claimed the lives of Black people.
  • Cities with the highest increase over time had higher proportions of residents living in poverty, higher rates of unemployment, and were more racially segregated than other cities.

View Infographic to see a summary of the findings

View Brief to see the wide variation in gun deaths between big cities

Gun violence has had profound, wide-ranging impacts across the nation’s big cities, particularly for Black residents. The following are examples of what BCHC cities are advocating for to reduce gun violence: much stronger state and federal policies that limit access to guns, large increases in funding for community-driven comprehensive violence prevention initiatives, and improvements in national data reporting on gun violence.

Learn more about gun violence reduction efforts within a big city health department, and  BCHC’s violence prevention policy initiatives.

To stay up-to-date on the Big Cities Health Inventory, please make sure to follow both the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative (@DrexelUHC) and BCHC (@BigCitiesHealth) on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter.

The Big Cities Health Inventory data platform is primarily funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The views expressed on the data platform do not necessarily represent the views of the funders.