The national violent crime rate continued to decline in 2014, according to data released on Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The decline is part of trend dating back to the 1990’s and researchers at the Brennan Center for Justice have attributed it to various socio-economic factors, including “growth in income and an aging population.”
Between 1993 and 2013, violent crime declined at an extraordinary pace. FBI data show the violent crime rate falling to 367.9 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013, from 713.6 in 1994. Similarly, the murder rate declined to 4.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2013 from 9.0 in 1994. The 2014 data made available on Monday should lead one to believe the downward trend remains. The overall violent crime rate declined to 365.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014. The murder rate remained at 4.5 per 100,000 inhabitants, though there was a 2 percent decrease in murders overall from the previous year.
Here is a look the violent crime rate over 20 years, from 1995 to 2014:
Commenting on the report, FBI Director James Comey said, “We hope this information will become part of a balanced dialogue in communities and in the media—a dialogue that will help to dispel misperceptions, foster accountability, and promote transparency in how law enforcement personnel relate to the communities they serve.” Indeed, the media need to pay attention to the report. Even in the midst of a decline in violent crime, the perception is that it is on the rise.…