NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Seventh Straight Year Of Declining Crime

October 18, 1999

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's latest Uniform Crime Report finds that incidence of violent crimes reported last year hit their lowest levels in 32 years. Moreover, 1998 marked the seventh consecutive year in which crime in the U.S. declined.

Lower rates were reported for virtually every category of violent crime.

  • The total of all violent crimes fell from 1.63 million in 1997 to 1.53 million in 1998.
  • The murder rate dropped 7.1 percent last year to 16,914 -- or 6.3 per 100,000 population -- the lowest since 1967.
  • For aggravated assault, the decline was 4.8 percent between 1997 and 1998 -- and 10.4 percent down in the case of robberies.
  • The statistics for rape declined 3.2 percent.

Property crimes also declined last year, by 6 percent from the previous year.

The report said that arrests of juveniles for violent crimes fell 8 percent last year, compared with a 4 percent drop in adult arrests. Crime rates had soared in the late 1980s due to increased violence among juveniles.

Sources: Gary Fields and Kevin Johnson, "Crime at Lowest Point in 32 Years," USA Today; and Fox Butterfield, "FBI Study Finds Gun Use in Violent Crimes Declining," New York Times; both October 18, 1999.


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