America’s Changing Crime Rates

America’s Changing Crime Rates

Whether you’re moving to a new city or you’re just trying to understand how safe you are in your current city, it’s important to learn more about crime rates and other different crime statistics to get an idea of safety.

However, these statistics can be difficult both to understand and to interpret. What should you know about safety in your area? Consider these important pieces of information.

When you look at the FBI’s national crime database, you’ll notice that, overall, crime has decreased over the years. For example, the overall national crime rate per 100,000 has been declining:

-2010: 3,350.4
-2011: 3,292.5
-2012: 3,255.8
-2013: 3,112.4
-2014: 2,971.8
-2015: 2,859.6
-2016: 2,837
-2017: 2,745.1
-2018: 2,568.4

This can be great news because, in general, it means your family is safer than ever before. But let’s see what’s actually happening in different regions of the country, specifically when it comes to violent crimes.

Violent Crime Nationwide

What about violent crime specifically? Violent crime is relatively rare; it typically happens at only a fraction of the rate of all crime in the United States. Since 2010, the rate of violent crime per 100,000 has generally decreased:

  • 2010: 404.5
  • 2011: 387.1
  • 2012: 387.8
  • 2013: 379.1
  • 2014: 375.7
  • 2015: 372.6
  • 2016: 386.3
  • 2017: 382.9
  • 2018: 368.9

Of the specific types of violent crime, aggravated assault was the most common violent crime in 2018 by far:

In fact, the rates of violent crime are nearly the lowest they’ve been in three decades — in 2018, the homicide rate was half the rate of 1991. As with crime in general, it’s clear to see that the country is getting safer.

Changes in Crime Over the Years

Because the shift in how news is reported makes it easier than ever to see each crime as it happens, it’s easy to feel like the world is very dangerous. However, it’s encouraging to learn that the opposite may in fact be true.

Where Are the Most Dangerous Places in America?

What qualifies as a dangerous place to live? Across states, California has the country’s highest amount of violent crime — an estimated 153,709 violent crimes in 2018. However, because it’s so heavily populated, this number actually fits right in with the average. Alaska, on the other hand, has the most violent crime per capita, averaging about double the national average.

Individual cities can fare even worse. Take a look at these five most dangerous cities in America, which have violent crime rates nearing or exceeding five times the national average:

  • Detroit, Michigan: 2,007.8
  • Memphis, Tennessee: 1,943.2
  • Birmingham, Alabama: 1,911.5
  • Baltimore, Maryland: 1,833.4
  • St Louis, Missouri: 1,800.4

Where Are the Safest Places in America?

What about the safest places to live? When you start looking into safer places to live, you’ll notice that there are actually a substantial number of areas where almost no violent crime happens. These five cities may just be the safest cities in America, with a minuscule rate of violent crime per 100,000:

  • Hopkinton, Massachusetts: Nearly 0
  • Bridgefield, Connecticut: Nearly 0
  • Madison, Connecticut: Nearly 0
  • Harrison Town, New York: 3.5
  • Bernards Township, New Jersey: 3.7

The Impact of Socioeconomic Status

What seems to be the main contributing factor to an area’s overall crime rate? Socioeconomic status appears to play the most significant role in determining a city’s crime rate.

Six of the ten most dangerous cities in the United States reside in one of the ten poorest states. The ten most dangerous cities also all have a poverty rate above 20%. On the other hand, the safest cities all have a median area income over $100,000 per year.

America's Changing Crime Rates
America’s Changing Crime Rates Created By: PeopleFinders

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Could Your Neighborhood Be Different?

Trying to understand crime on a city level can sometimes give you misleading information. In fact, crime in the same city can vary hugely between different neighborhoods.

To try and find out more about what’s actually happening in your neighborhood, you can perform an address lookup of your neighbors. From there, it’s easy to perform a criminal records check on the people who live at each address, and see if you can find if these people have a criminal history.


Although looking at crime on a national and citywide level can give you an idea of the country’s current state of affairs, it’s actually less useful for maintaining your family’s immediate safety.

If you’re looking for specific ways to keep yourself and your family safe, make sure you read the PeopleFinders blog. You’ll find tips and tricks to discover what’s going on in your immediate area, as well as how to stay safe under those circumstances.

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