Tag by the West 49th Street and South Paulina Street set of the Gangster Disciples Nation on West 50th Street and South Hermitage Avenue, Chicago IL
Tag by the West 49th Street and South Paulina Street set of the Gangster Disciples Nation on West 50th Street and South Hermitage Avenue, Chicago IL

Chicago is considered the most gang-occupied city in the United States, with a population ranging from 100,000 active members from over 70 gangs[1] with more than 150,000 members.[2] Gang warfare and retaliation is common in Chicago. Gangs were responsible for 61% of the homicides in Chicago in 2011.


Former Chicago Police Superintendent, Garry McCarthy, blames Chicago's gang culture for its high rates of homicide and other violent crime, stating "It's very frustrating to know that it's like 7% of the population causes 80% of the violent crime... The gangs here are traditional gangs that are generational, if you will. The grandfather was a gang member, the father's a gang member, and the kid right now is going to be a gang member".[3]

Policing strategy

Former Mayor Rahm Emanuel disbanded the Chicago Police Department's anti-gang unit in 2012 in order to focus on beat patrols, which he said would have a more long-term solution to violence than anti-gang units.[4][5]


Most traditional Chicago street gangs, known as nations, fall under two main factions called the People Nation and the Folks Nation, with the former having most, if not all gangs under the "Almighty" moniker while the latter having most gangs divided into various sub-factions, the majority of which are a part of an alliance called Latin Folks which are further divided into groups called familias. There are also nations that are not officially members of either the People or Folks nations, such as the Black Soul Nation. Nontraditional gangs are known as war crews and do not identify as nations though they will engage in traditional gang activity and may conflict with nations as well as other war crews. Each individual gang is divided into sets which are territories spanning blocks or neighborhoods that may be divided further into subsets. There are currently at least 70 active Chicago street gangs with 747 factions that have been identified.[6][7][8] All currently active street gangs in Chicago are:

Folks Nation

Latin Folks Familias:

Almighty Familia:

Almighty Ambrose Nation

Almighty Brazer Nation

Almighty Harrison Gent Nation

Almighty Imperial Gangster Nation

Almighty Insane Pope Nation (north side)

Almighty Krazy Getdown Boy Nation

Almighty Latin Eagle Nation

Almighty Simon City Royal Nation

Gangster Familia:

Gangster Disciple Nation

Gangster Two-Six Nation

Gangster Party People Nation

Gangster Sin City Boy Nation

Insane Familia:

Insane Ashland Viking Nation

Insane Campbell Boy Nation

Insane C-Note Nation

Insane Deuce Nation

Insane Dragon Nation

Insane Orchestra Albany Nation

Insane Spanish Cobra Nation

Insane Gangster Familia:

Insane Gangster Satan Disciple Nation

Insane Gangster City Knight Nation

Maniac Familia:

Maniac Latin Disciple Nation

Maniac Campbell Boy Nation

No Family:

Allport Lover Nation (likely defunct)

Aztec Soul Nation

Black Disciple Nation

Black Gangster Nation (also known as New Breeds)

Black King Cobra Nation (No relation to Black Cobra Souls, Mickey Cobras King Cobras)

B.O.S.S. Pimp Nation

Hoodlum Nation

Insane Two-Two Boy Nation

Insane Majestic Nation

King Cobra Nation

La Raza Nation

Latin Dragon Nation

Latin Jiver Nation

Universal Latin Lover Nation (possibly defunct)

Latin Soul Nation

Latin Styler Nation

Milwaukee King Nation

Spanish Gangster Disciple Nation

Wolcott Boy Nation

People Nation

Independent nations



Hispanic-on-Hispanic homicides increased in the summer of 1971 due to the Latin Kings gang election meetings.[9] In July 2020, federal agents participating in Operation Legend arrested 23 Black Disciples gang members associated with drugs and gun violations in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "Chicago Gang Violence: By The Numbers". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  2. ^ "Chicago Most Gang-Infested City in U.S., Officials Say". NBC Chicago. January 26, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  3. ^ "Gangs and guns fuel Chicago's summer surge of violence | PBS NewsHour". Pbs.org. July 20, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  4. ^ "Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is defending his decision in the first days of his administration to disband anti-gang units like the Mobile Strike Force | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago". Wbez.org. July 9, 2012. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Terrorised Chicago residents plead for police crackdown as gang war murders soar". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2022-01-12. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  6. ^ "Chicago Street Gangs". Chicago Gang History. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "Gang Areas in Chicago". Uic.edu. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Dedicated to 20th Century Gang History". Chicago Gang History. Retrieved 2022-05-23.
  9. ^ "Latin Kings 1971-72 Election Meetings". Retrieved October 3, 2019.