Sep 25, 2018

By the numbers: Murder rate drops for first time in two years

Police car and crime scene tape on a city street

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New FBI data released Monday found that violent crime and the national murder rate decreased slightly in 2017 after two years of increases.

Yes, but: Despite the dip, violent crime still plagues many parts of the country, and arrests are also rare, a recent Washington Post analysis of decades of homicide arrest data from 50 of the nation’s largest cities found. Meanwhile, last year’s murder rate is still 20.7% higher than the 2013 estimate, and 5% higher than the 2008 figure.

By the numbers: The 2017 national murder rate dipped by 0.7% from the 2016 estimate — down to 5.3 per 100,000 people being murdered in 2017 from 5.4 per 100,000 the prior year.

  • The number of rapes reported have increased by 2.5%. Richard Myers, executive director of Major Cities Chiefs Association, tells the Wall Street Journal that increase is in part due to the #MeToo movement leading more victims to come forward.
“It’s one of the most underreported crimes. I think as the public consciousness gets sensitized to the problem, we are seeing more people reporting.”
— Richard Myers
  • Reported cases of manslaughter and murder dropped 0.7% in 2017.

The FBI data relies on information provided by thousands of state and local police departments across the country.

Read more: Behind Chicago’s segregated shooting sprees

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