Changing Crime Rates in the United States

Understanding crime rates isn’t necessarily easy for the everyday citizen. It’s common to feel like crime is much more prominent nowadays than it was only a few years ago. If you want to really understand crime, you need to make sure you know the facts. Here’s what you should know about crime rates in the United States.

Crime Is Going Down Overall

The good news is that crime overall is going down. As a matter of fact, according to the FBI, crime has gone down every single year since 2001. This is the national crime rate per 100,000 since 2001:

  • 2001: 4,162.6
  • 2002: 4,125
  • 2003: 4,067
  • 2004: 3,977.3
  • 2005: 3,900.5
  • 2006: 3,825.9
  • 2007: 3,748.2
  • 2008: 3,673.2
  • 2009: 3,473.2
  • 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

Violent Crime Is Also Low

Violent crime hasn’t escaped this downward turn. Despite the fact that you probably hear about violent crime more often today, it’s actually nearly the lowest it’s been in 30 years. This is the violent crime rate per 100,000 since 2010: 

  • 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 there are occasional upticks in violent crime, the shift is overwhelmingly toward less violent crime – the homicide rate in 2018, for example, was half the 1991 homicide rate.

Area Has an Impact

You almost certainly know that certain areas of the United States are more dangerous than others – that’s no secret. However, understanding the exact areas can be helpful in deciding where you want to live or generally be. These are the five most dangerous cities in America by rate of violent crime per 100,000:

  • 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 areas are significantly safer. These are likely the five safest cities in America by rate of violent crime per 100,000:

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

Socioeconomic Status Is Important

When you look at the safest and most dangerous cities, there are a few things that tend to stand out about them. For example, the ten most dangerous cities in the United States all have a poverty rate above 20%, and the safest cities have a median area income over $100,000.

Safer cities tend to have smaller populations with more ability to select who lives there. Dangerous cities, on the other hand, have high unemployment rates and low median income. Socioeconomic status is an important part of determining safety.

Conclusion

As you can see, crime rates in the United States can be complicated to understand. One way to stay safe is to focus on your neighborhood, not your state or even your city. By focusing on your neighborhood and ensuring you know more about safety nearby, you’ll make sure that you keep yourself and your family as safe as possible.