According to crime statistics recently released by the FBI, the United States was a safer place in the first half of 2017 than it was over the same period in 2016.
The incidence of rape fell 2.4% from the first sixth months of 2016 to the first sixth months of 2017, robbery fell 2.2%, and aggravated assault was down 0.1%. Though the number of murders climbed by 1.5%, the overall incidence of violent crime nationwide dropped by 0.8%.
Regionally, the largest improvement occurred in the Northeast, where the number of violent crimes fell by 4.1%.
While the first half of 2017 was less violent than the same period in 2016, the most recent complete annual data is less encouraging. The annual U.S. violent crime rate rose in both 2015 and 2016 — the first consecutive two-year increase in a decade. In total, there were 397 violent crimes for every 100,000 Americans in 2016 — up from 385 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2015 and 366 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2014.
Whether or not the incidence of violent crime fell through the full 12 months of 2017 remains to be seen.
Regardless, crime in the United States remains far less prevalent than it was several decades ago. The annual violent crime rate climbed 40% from 1984 to 1991, when reported violence hit a peak of 758 crimes for every 100,000 people.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report to identify the most dangerous — and the safest — states in the country. Violent crime rates range by state from less than 200 to more than 800 incidents per 100,000 residents.