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Monday Morning Optimism 3/13/23
Crime rates have fallen
Welcome to our Monday Morning Optimism series. To start each week, we’ll send you an economic trend/fact/idea that shows how some aspect of the economy (or world) has improved over time. Want to sponsor a Monday Morning Optimism Post? Just reach out to me (Zack) at Zfritz@sagepolicy.com.
Despite what most people think, crime rates have nose-dived since the early 1990s. For violent crime, the rate peaked at 758 per 100,000 people in 1992 and 1993, fell to the lowest level on record at 362/100,000 people in 2014, and currently sits at a level nearly 50% lower than in the early 1990s.
Property crime has fallen at an even sharper rate, down more than 62% since the peak in 1991.
It’s true that the homicide rate increased pretty sharply during the pandemic, but even that remains about 30% lower than in 1991. The FBI hasn’t released 2022 data yet, but it looks like the homicide rate receded last year. According to AH Datalytics, murders in U.S. cities fell 5% during 2022.
Despite these positive long-term trends, Americans pretty much always think that crime rates are rising. If you want to poke around in the data, this post uses stats from the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer.
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