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Data Does Not Support Trump’s Claims That Crime is Rising

The average person in a large urban area is safer walking on the street today than he or she would have been at almost any time in the past 30 years. In some cities, murder is up. But there is not yet sufficient evidence to conclude it's a national trend.

July 13, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to say that crime is rising across America, tweeting yesterday that “crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse.”

But recent data shows overall rates remain at historic lows. A Brennan Center analysis released last month found that nationally, crime has dropped 23 percent since 2006. And, over the last decade, 27 states lowered both crime and imprisonment rates simultaneously.

From 2014 to 2015, crime rates remained nearly identical, according to a separate Center analysis. The report showed that, while murder rates have increased in some cities across the country, two-thirds of cities studied saw crime drop last year.

“The average person in a large urban area is safer walking on the street today than he or she would have been at almost any time in the past 30 years,” authors Ames Grawert and James Cullen wrote in Crime in 2015: A Final Analysis. “That does not mean there is not variation across cities. In some cities, murder is up. However, there is not yet sufficient evidence to conclude that these levels will persist in the future or are part of a national trend.” 

The Washington Post and the Associated Press have also pushed back on claims that crime is rising. “Crime is not out of control,” The Post stated.

To talk to a Brennan Center expert on crime rates, contact Rebecca Autrey at rebecca.autrey@nyu.edu or 646-292-8316.