Houston’s homicide rate surpassed Dallas’ in 2006 for the first time in more than a decade and is now the second-highest among the nation’s largest cities, according to figures released Monday by the FBI.
Houstonians were killed at a rate of 18.2 per 100,000 residents last year, a number that had gone unmatched since 1995 when the FBI began posting crime statistics online. Dallas’ homicide rate was higher than Houston’s in all of the previous 11 years.
The two cities’ homicide rates were almost identical last year. But Houston’s rate increased nearly 12 percent as Dallas’ rate declined more than 8 percent. Houston has seen an uptick in homicides since more than 100,000 Louisiana residents fled to the city after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Only Philadelphia now has a higher homicide rate than Houston on the list of the nation’s 10 largest cities. San Antonio ranks seventh on the list, while Dallas is fifth.