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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.