Gun violence stems from compounded disadvantages that wipe out hope in communities, experts say. Philadelphia is plagued with areas of concentrated poverty, which have limited resources and opportunities.
Residents who see few other ways to support themselves may turn to illegal activities or get involved with dangerous groups, leading to drug, gang and retaliation-related shootings. These clusters of shootings further damage those neighborhoods and continue the cycle of poverty and violence.
Explore the maps below to see how areas of disadvantage overlap throughout the city, and how these align with Philadelphia's most violent neighborhoods.
This publication by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health found a strong geographic relationship between chronic male unemployment and shootings in Philadelphia:
Of the city's 48 ZIP codes, 40 had either high unemployment and high levels of gun violence or low unemployment and low levels of gun violence. The areas with high shooting counts tended to be predominantly Black and Latino.
This study by ManUpPHL, a local nonprofit that combats gun violence through mentoring, examined attitudes and behaviors that contribute to gun culture by listening to the experiences of a group of those impacted. Through focus group interviews, researchers identified eight themes that captured these individuals' experiences.
Through the study, ManUpPHL came up with five recommendations to address gun violence. You can hear about them in this conversation with Solomon Jones and Brian Ellis.