Murder Rates Are Plummeting. What Should We Make of It?

“But aren’t murder rates still far above where they were in 2019? It would indeed seem silly to celebrate that homicides are down from super high to, say, very high. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

“A murder decline of even half the magnitude suggested by the early 2024 data,” writes Jeff Asher, a data analyst and co-founder of AH Datalytics, “would place the US murder rate this year largely on par with or below where it was from 2015 to 2019 prior to the surge in murder in 2020.” There are certainly reasons for caution here, chief among them that it is May, not December. The situation could certainly take a turn for the worse. But should the data continue on the current trajectory, then the number of homicides seen in the U.S. will indeed be back to, or under, pre-COVID levels—a concession also recently made by Charles Fain Lehman, a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute.”

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