Crime and overall murder rates across US cities are projected to decline in 2018, continuing similar decreases from the previous year, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
The Center's latest report on U.S. crime says:
- Murder: The 2018 murder rate in U.S. cities is projected to be 7.6 percent lower than last year. This estimate is based on data from 29 of the nation’s 30 largest cities. This murder rate is expected to be approximately equal to 2015’s rate, near the bottom of the historic post-1990 decline. Especially sharp declines appear in San Francisco (-35.0 percent), Chicago (-23.2 percent), and Baltimore (-20.9 percent). These estimates are based on preliminary data, but if they hold, the number of murders in Chicago could fall by year’s end to the lowest since 2015. In Baltimore, homicides could drop to the lowest since 2014. While the city’s murder rate remains high, this would mark a significant reversal of the past two years’ increases.
- While the overall murder rate is estimated to decline this year in these cities, a few cities are projected to experience increases. For example, Washington, D.C.’s murder rate is expected to rise 34.9 percent. Several cities with relatively low murder rates are also seeing increases, such as Austin (rising by roughly 30 percent). Since the city has relatively few murders, any increase may appear large in percentage terms.
- Overall Crime: At the time of publication, full crime data — covering all Part I index crimes tracked by the FBI — were only available from 19 of the 30 largest cities. (Past Brennan Center reports included, on average, 21 cities.) In these cities, the overall crime rate for 2018 is projected to decrease by 2.9 percent, essentially holding stable. If this estimate holds, this group of cities will experience the lowest crime rate this year since at least 1990.
This report does not present violent crime data.