Murder and Violent Crime Are Declining Again

The latest crime figures are out from the FBI, and both murder and violent crime in general ticked down in 2017 after rising for a couple of years:

Property crime (burglary, theft, etc.) was also down, continuing a steady downward trend of over two decades:

Crime data always has some noise in it, and small spikes up and down generally don’t mean anything. There really was a small spike in murder rates in 2015 and 2016, mostly due to sudden large increases in a handful of big cities, but we still don’t really know what caused it. However, it appears that the spike is over, and murder is probably now returning to its old trendline.

BY THE WAY: Since someone is bound to ask, none of the recent data has anything to do with lead. The decline in lead poisoning of small children was responsible for much of the overall decline in crime from 1991 to 2010, but it has nothing to do with small spikes from year to year or city to city. At this point, lead has probably had all the effect it’s going to have, and further changes in the crime rate have other causes.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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