The Extraordinary Death Toll of 2021

Measuring the casualties of a deadly year in Portland.


Portland homicides in 2021, as of Dec. 9. That is the highest single-year total in city history, eclipsing the previous record of 70 (set in 1987, when the city was substantially smaller). Sixty-three of the murders were committed with guns, police say.


Portland traffic deaths through Dec. 21, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. (The Portland Police Bureau has a higher tally: 65.) It’s the most in one year since 1987.


Multnomah County residents who died from hyperthermia, or overheating, during 116-degree conditions in late June. These are the first Portland deaths directly linked to climate change.


Deaths in residential fires through Dec. 21, according to Portland Fire & Rescue. That’s one shy of the record, set in 1994.


People killed by cars while crossing Portland streets, the highest single-year total since 1972.


COVID-19 deaths recorded in Multnomah County in 2021.