In recent years, headlines have warned of a nationwide spike in crime. Crime data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed a nearly 30% nationwide increase in reported homicides between 2019 and 2020, the single largest year-over-year increase on record. More recent data, albeit incomplete, suggests that the homicide rate in 2023 is on track for the largest year-over-year decline on record. This is hopefully an indicator that the increase in crime isn’t a long-term trend.
Unfortunately, quality national crime statistics are lacking, so it is important to understand the context and limitations when evaluating these numbers.
First, year-over-year changes