Report: 2017 Crime Rate on Trend to Be Lowest Since 1990

Data from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law indicates the overall 2017 crime rate will drop by 1.8 percent.

Report: 2017 Crime Rate on Trend to Be Lowest Since 1990

The 2017 murder rate is projected to drop by 2.5 percent.

A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law claims all measures of crime in the United States – overall crime, violent crime, and murder – are projected to decline in 2017.

Researchers collected crime data from local police departments in the 30 largest American cities and used historical trends to estimate 2017 year-end crime numbers.

According to the data, 2017 is on pace to have the second-lowest crime rate since 1990.

In the data, violent crimes include murder, robbery and aggravated assault; property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft; overall crime includes all of the above.

Graphs for each city’s projected murder and crime rate for 2017 can be found here.

Key Findings from Projected 2017 Crime Rate Report

The report outlines several main findings from its analysis.

The data estimates that the overall crime rate in 2017 will drop by 1.8 percent from 2016. If this estimate holds true, 2017 will have the second-lowest crime rate since 1990.

Crime Rate

This figure from the Brennan Center for Justice indicates overall crime in the United States has been on a downward trend since 1990.

The violent crime rate is expected to decrease only slightly by 0.6 percent. The data attributes this relatively stable number to decreased violence in Chicago but increased violence in Washington, D.C., which are the two largest cities that had increases in violence in recent years.

The 2017 murder rate is projected to be 2.5 percent lower than 2016. The decline is attributed to decreased murder in Detroit (down 25.6 percent), Houston (down 20.5 percent) and New York (down 19.1%).

The report says from 2014 to 2017, there was a 55.6 percent increase in murders. More than half of that increase is attributed to Chicago and Baltimore alone. However, Chicago’s murder rate is expected to fall by 2.4 percent.

The report also says this year’s decrease may indicate that the increases in 2015 and 2016 were merely short-term fluctuations in a long-term downward trend.

Although overall crime is expected to be down in 2017, some cities are projected to experience localized increases. For example, Charlotte’s murder rate has doubled in the first six months of 2017 compared to 2016.

The Brennan Center’s 2016 crime report can be found here and a report of historical crime trends from 1990 to 2016 can be found here.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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