538 says US murder rate up 25% in last two years

Jeff Asher at 538 writes:

Murder almost certainly increased substantially in the U.S. in 2016, one year after it rose at its fastest pace in a quarter century.

The government won’t release official 2016 crime statistics for another nine months. But data from individual police departments indicates that murder rose in most of the country’s biggest cities in 2016, in some cases dramatically. Because a large share of murders take place in big cities, a substantial increase there means that the country’s overall murder total almost certainly rose as well.1

Using a combination of official police data and local media reports, I was able to collect murder counts through at least November 2016 for 73 of the 83 U.S. cities with populations above 250,000, and partial data for all but one of the rest.2 The counts are preliminary and could be subject to change before they are submitted to the FBI for inclusion in the Uniform Crime Report that will be published in September.

This year’s rise appears slightly smaller than last year’s dramatic increase. The big cities experienced roughly a 11.3 percent increase in murder in 2016, which is down from the same group’s 14.8 percent increase from 2014 to 2015. Still, the figures suggest that big cities have seen murder rise by more than a quarter in just two years, likely the biggest two-year increase since 1989 to 1991.

Crime and homicides specifically has generally trended down for some decades. This two year reversal looks to be significant.

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