It seems there is no shortage of reports about mass shootings and high murder rates in major U.S. cities like Chicago. Yet the overall violent crime rate in the United States is more or less unchanged, falling from 387 incidents per 100,000 people in 2011 to 386 incidents per 100,000 people in 2016.
According to the FBI’s definition, violent crime includes four types of offenses: rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder. In a country as large and diverse as the United States, nationwide figures are rarely good indicators of local trends. This is especially true in the case of crime, which tends to be highly local and varies significantly not just between states and cities, but even within neighborhoods.
Changes in violent crime fluctuated widely across the country over the past half decade. In a number of metropolitan areas, like Ames, Iowa, Muncie, Indiana, and Bend, Oregon, it improved substantially, dropping by more than 40%. In other metropolitan areas, violent crime increased substantially. In Monroe, Louisiana, the violent crime rate rose by nearly 90%.
In some states, changes in violent crime rates at the metropolitan level mirror statewide trends. In Florida, where the violent crime rate decreased by 16.5%, 15 of the 16 metropolitan areas with comparable data also reported declining violent crime rates. However, this is not always the case. In Wisconsin, the violent crime rate increased by nearly 30%, but no state metropolitan reported an increase in violent crime of more than 14%.
Reviewing changes in violent crime rates from 2011 through 2016 , 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the metropolitan statistical area in each state where violent crime increased the most.