Last week, the Gallup organization issued a poll that showed a large majority of Americans incorrectly believe crime increased last year. says The Mendoza Line. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said there was “more crime in the U.S than there was a year ago.” Only 21 percent correctly said there was less crime. FBI says violent crime reports fell 4.4 percent last year compared to 2012. The reported violent crime rate per 100,000 people fell 5.1 percent. Similarly, the rate of reported property crimes declined by 4.8 percent.
Fourteen of 20 times that Gallup asked this crime question, Americans got it wrong. The exceptions are 1989, 1990, 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2006. The same trend emerges for property crimes. Americans incorrectly said crime went up 17 out of 20 times, when property crime had actually declined.