The Declining Murder Rate in America

Murder rates in most major cities declined steadily in the U.S. in 2013 — both in terms of absolute numbers and rate per 100,000 people. As a result, the U.S. is on track to have its lowest murder rates in four decades.

Data provided by police departments in the ten cities with the highest number of murders in 2012 shows that eight out of ten saw a significant drop in both total murders and rates in 2013. New York and Philadelphia lead the pack in the sharpest declines. Despite the headlines, Chicago was a safer city in 2013. Though it still leads the nation in number of murders, Chicago had a larger drop than any other city last year.

When I look at statistics like this, I’m always amazed by New York City. Yes, it had the second highest raw totals of any city, next to Chicago, with 333 total murders, but its rate per 100,000 people — just 4.0 percent — was lower than the national average of 4.7.

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