Select Key Metrics on Community Violence


Rate of violent crimes per 100,000 people; rate of firearm-related violent crimes per 100,000 people.


Age-adjusted rate of homicide deaths per 100,000 people; rate of firearm-related homicide per 100,000 people.


Gun violence in Philadelphia is a public health crisis. The rising rate of gun violence is having a dramatic impact on all Philadelphians with outsized effects on the communities in which the violence occurs.


Gun violence was fatal for approximately 1 in 5 of the 2,144 shooting victims in Philadelphia in 2020.

Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic Philadelphians lose their lives to gun violence at disproportionate rates – devastating families and communities.

Exposure to gun violence, particularly incidents resulting in fatality, is an important determinant of mental health, increasing the risk of psychological distress, depression, suicidal ideation, and serious mental illness.


Gun Violence Incidence in Philadelphia by Race/Ethnicity and Outcome

Source: Mapping Philadelphia's Gun violence Crisis, Office of the Controller | 2020. Note: Data labels reflect the percent of all shootings and fatal shootings, respectively.

The effects of gun violence exposure are particularly traumatizing for children. Moreover, almost 10% of the victims of gun violence in Philadelphia in 2020 were children under the age of 18. Twenty-five of these children died.


The drivers of gun violence include the legacy of structural racism and disinvestment in Black communities in Philadelphia that contribute to poverty, food and housing insecurity, neighborhood blight, limited opportunities for education, and unemployment.

Joblessness is a particularly strong correlate of crime, moreso than poverty alone. In Philadelphia, zip codes with high levels of gun violence are predominantly Black and Hispanic and have high levels of chronic unemployment among male individuals. Surging rates of unemployment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic Philadelphians and may have contributed to the accompanying spikes in violent crime. 

Ongoing Efforts in the Philadelphia Community 

The City of Philadelphia’s five-year gun violence reduction plan, the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities, coordinates public, private, nonprofit, and community partners to facilitate programs, initiatives, and interventions across the city. These include a group violence intervention, a community crisis intervention program, Operation Pinpoint, targeted community investment grants, and environmental changes such as improving buildings and lighting.

Temple Health’s Cradle to Grave program offers young people a behind-the-scenes look into the physical, emotional, and social realities of firearm injury. During the two-hour program, participants explore the real life and death experiences of a Philadelphia teen whose story serves as the backdrop for this intimate look at gun violence. Since its inception in 2006, more than 13,000 young people have participated in the program.

Efforts listed here may be independent of Accelerate Health Equity. Check back to learn about a broader list of health equity efforts.