Federal Report Says Homicide Rate Has Ebbed to Four-Decade Low


The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that the homicide rate in the United States is at its lowest level in four decades. The largest decline was in big cities, where the rate dropped from nearly 36 homicides per 100,000 residents in 1991 to 12 per 100,000 in 2008. The nationwide rate during that same period fell from an all-time high of 9.8 homicides per 100,000 in 1991 to 4.8 in 2010.

The report analyzes homicide trends and provides profiles of victims and perpetrators. It says most murders are intra-racial. The victimization rate for blacks was six times higher than for whites, while the offending rate for blacks was almost eight times higher than the rate for whites. The number of homicides known to be caused by gang violence has quadrupled since 1980.

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