Though New Orleans reported a 17 percent drop in violent crimes last year, it remains the nation’s most murderous city by a wide margin, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. In the FBI’s estimate for 2008 reported crimes nationwide, issued yesterday, the bureau used numbers reported by law enforcement agencies. The FBI report uses an outdated population estimate for New Orleans, one that has been successfully challenged by local officials.
The FBI’s report uses a figure of 281,440 for July 1, 2008. Earlier this year, the census bureau, in response to the city’s challenge, raised that figure to 311,853. Police Superintendent Warren Riley believes the estimates fail to take into account some new arrivals to New Orleans, among them thousands of undocumented laborers. The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, which helped city officials prepare their census challenge, put the city’s population for the first half of 2008 at 324,357.