If you look at the historic trend for murder rates in the United States, you’ll see that it is generally a decline. There are certain times when the rates spike, so it’s not a perfectly downward slope, but there is an overall decline over the decades.
For instance, the murder rate in the early 90s peaked at 9.71 people for every 100,000 people in the population. That was in 1991. But even by 1993, a sharp decline had begun. The rate fell all the way until the year 2000, hitting 5.53. There was then a mild increase, followed by another decline.
The most recent year in the study is 2018 — when the rate was just 4.96. But it had even bottomed out a few years before that, in 2014, when the rate was 4.44 per 100,000 people.
Why does it often feel like the opposite is happening?
You may sometimes feel like the trends are heading in the opposite direction. It just seems like crime is increasing. Why do the statistics tell another story?
There are two potential reasons. First off, these are the national numbers, so the trends in specific areas can be much different. In certain states or regions, rates could be increasing. Additionally, constant access to media coverage often just makes people more aware of what’s happening. There were far more cases in the 90s, but people didn’t hear about everything, so they simply weren’t aware.
If you or a loved one has found yourself facing charges for a serious crime, it’s imperative that you understand all of your legal defense options.