The crime rate in the 30 largest U.S. cities in 2017 declined slightly from the previous year, falling by 2.1 percent to remain at historic lows, says the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University in its final analysis of the data. Homicide rates in some cities are still higher than 2015 levels.
The center said the rate of reported violent crime rate also declined, falling by 1 percent from 2016. Violent crime remains near the bottom of a national 30-year downward trend.
Statistics from the 30 largest cities usually but not always reflect the trends found in the FBI’s annual compilation of data from most of the nation’s more than 17,000 police departments.
Last year’s murder rate in the 30 largest cities declined by 3.4 percent year-over-year, the center said. Large decreases in Chicago and Houston, as well as small declines in other cities, contributed to the total.
The murder rate in Chicago, which increased significantly in 2015 and 2016, declined by 12.3 percent in 2017, but remains more than 60 percent above 2014 levels. The murder rate in Houston fell nearly 17 percent. New York City’s murder rate declined again, to 3.4 killings per 100,000 people.
Some cities reported an increase in murder rates rise in 2017, including Baltimore (7.8 percent) and Philadelphia (13.1 percent). These increases suggest a need to better understand how and why murder is increasing in some cities, the Brennan Center said.
Las Vegas reported a significant rise in murder rate rise significantly, 23.5 percent, but it was largely due to the mass shooting of a concert from the Mandalay Bay resort on Oct. 1.