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Press Release

Crime Remains at Historic Lows in America

A final analysis of 2017 numbers shows consistently low crime rates in the 30 largest American cities.

June 12, 2018

New York, NY – Crime in America’s 30 largest cities remains near historic lows. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law published its final analysis of crime data from 2017 today, showing an overall decrease in violent crime and murder since 2016.

Crime in 2017: Final Analysis establishes that any claims of a nationwide crime wave are unwarranted. Compiled by a team of economic and policy researchers, it confirms predictions from the Center’s December report, Crime in 2017: Updated Analysis.

“Crime rates in American cities once again declined in 2017, and remain near historic lows,” said Ames Grawert, senior counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice program. “Contrary to President Trump’s rhetoric using the threat of rising violent crime to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment, our data show low rates of crime across the country. There are still communities like Chicago and Baltimore struggling to control violence, but rather than resorting to fearmongering, leaders should instead embrace and promote smart policing and real reforms that make all our communities safer.”

Some key findings from this analysis include a 2.1 percent decline in the overall crime rate of America’s 30 largest cities since 2016, as well as a 1 percent decline in violent crime and 3.4 percent decline in the 2017 murder rate.

Chicago and Houston saw some of the largest decreases in murder rates, which fell by 12.3 percent and nearly 17 percent respectively. Chicago’s decline partially offsets its recent increase in homicides. Cities including Baltimore and Philadelphia saw a rise in murder rates for 2017.

Click here to see more of the Brennan Center’s research on crime rates in America, including an analysis of historical crime trends from 1990–2016, available here. And, click here to read more about the methodology behind the Brennan Center’s crime analyses.

For more information or to schedule an interview with a Brennan Center expert, contact Rebecca Autrey at or 646–292–8316.