Violent crime in U.S. hit record low last year

Excluding murder statistics, U.S. violent crime rates reached their lowest level last year since rates began to be tracked in 1973. The drop is detailed in the 2001 National Crime Victimisation Survey, compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

  • Omitting murder statistics, violent crime fell by 9 percent – but murders were up 3.1 percent.

  • Since 1993, the violent crime rate has decreased by almost 50 percent.

  • Experts attributed the drop to a combination of tougher sentencing laws and the strong economy of the 1990s.

  • The number of people reporting violent crimes fell from about 28 per 1,000 in 2000 to about 25 per 1,000 in 2001.

    Rates for whites fell 10 percent, decreased 11.6 percent for blacks, and registered a 3.9 percent increase for Hispanics.

    Source: Associated Press, Violent Crimes Drop 9 Percent in 2001 to Reach Record Low, Washington Times, September 9, 2002.

    For more on Crime Statistics

    FMF Policy Bulletin\10 September 2002

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