Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed on Tuesday that US crime statistics are “only” going up. In fact, most US crime numbers went down last year – and the decreases included one of the largest national declines in murder ever recorded.

Trump’s speech in Michigan focused on crime perpetrated by people who illegally entered the US. After he said that crime in Venezuela has fallen amid a wave of emigration from the South American country – and exaggerated the extent of Venezuela’s improvement – he added, “Wouldn’t we love to have a statistic where crime is down 67%? Ours is only going in one direction.” He pointed sharply upward with his hand.

Facts FirstTrump’s claim that US crime statistics are only going up is false. Murder, other kinds of reported violent crime and reported property crime all dropped in 2023, according to preliminary statistics published by the FBI. Crime data expert Jeff Asher says that, if confirmed by final data, the roughly 13% decline in murder would be the single biggest one-year drop on record in US data dating back to 1960, while the roughly 6% decline in reported violent crime would be one of the biggest on record; reported violent crime declined in every quadrant of the country, in cities of all sizes and in in rural communities. In addition, as Asher has pointed out, partial urban data for early 2024 shows that the number of murders again declined sharply in the first two months of this year.

  • @UnderpantsWeevil
    3 months ago

    Crime rates have been dropping steadily since the mid-90s.

    But “It Bleeds, It Leads” news coverage hasn’t meaningfully abated since the heyday.

    So you get failing crime rates, but a steady diet of crime journalism, crime TV drama, and hysterical crime “breaking news” headlines (Missing White Lady Syndrome, police blotter local news reports, True Crime podcasts, vague angry rants from AM Radio news jockeys).

    What am I supposed to believe? Your occasional odd statistics? Or my endlessly bombarded ears/eyes?

    • @halloween_spookster
      23 months ago

      My favorite coincidence of data was that the year that Doom came out was the same year that violent crime & murder rates started declining in the 90s