Changing Crime Rates in the United States

Understanding safety is all about knowing the actual data. It can seem like things are getting more dangerous in the United States, especially because there’s more access to the news nowadays, but does the data actually back that up? Here’s what you should know about changing crime rates in the United States.

America's Changing Crime Rates
America’s Changing Crime Rates Created By: PeopleFinders

1. Crime Trends By Year

The idea that things are getting more dangerous just isn’t true. As a matter of fact, the numbers from the FBI tell a completely different story. This is the average nationwide crime rate per 100,000 since 2010:

2010: 3,350.4
2011: 3,292.5
2012: 3,255.8
2013: 3,112.4
2014: 2,971.8
2015: 2,859.6
2016: 2,837
2017: 2,745.1
2018: 2,568.4

As you can see, it’s gone down every single year. That means the United States has actually been getting safer every year rather than getting more dangerous.

2. Understanding Violent Crime

For some people, seeing the general crime statistics isn’t enough because it includes all sorts of crime. What about violent crime? Is it becoming more dangerous in terms of violent crime? According to the FBI’s violent crime rate per 100,000 since 2010, no:

2010: 404.5
2011: 387.1
2012: 387.8
2013: 379.1
2014: 375.7
2015: 372.6
2016: 386.3
2017: 382.9
2018: 368.9

Even though crime did increase in some years, overall, the trend has been toward a reduction in crime. Between 2010 and 2018, violent crime went down by nearly 9%. Plus, the homicide rate in 2018 was fully half the rate of 1991. Even when you look at just violent crime, things are getting safer.

3. Crime By Location

One of the more important things to look at is location. Different cities can have significantly different crime rates. For example, these are the violent crime rates in the United States’ five most dangerous cities, nearing or exceeding five times the national average:

Detroit, Michigan: 2,007.8
Memphis, Tennessee: 1,943.2
Birmingham, Alabama: 1,911.5
Baltimore, Maryland: 1,833.4
St Louis, Missouri: 1,800.4

On the other hand, some cities have incredibly low rates of crime. These are possibly the country’s safest cities, with a violent crime rate less than a tenth of the national average:

Hopkinton, Massachusetts: Nearly 0
Bridgefield, Connecticut: Nearly 0
Madison, Connecticut: Nearly 0
Harrison Town, New York: 3.5
Bernards Township, New Jersey: 3.7

4. Socioeconomic Status

These locations don’t necessarily tell the whole story; socioeconomic status plays a huge role in predicting danger. For example, all of the 10 most dangerous cities have a poverty rate above 20%, and typically have high unemployment and low median income. Safest cities, on the other hand, all have a median area income over $100,000, meaning that cities with a higher socioeconomic status more likely have lower rates of crime.

Conclusion

Overall, crime is getting lower, but that might not mean anything to you specifically. The most important thing you can do to keep yourself and your family safe is to have actual information. That may mean, for example, using a public record search engine to gather information on neighbors. With this information, you’re more likely to stay safe in your immediate vicinity.

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