The total number of violent crimes has steadily decreased over recent years, with murder rates for 2011 being the lowest the country has seen since 1968.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 14,612 “Murders and Nonnegligible Manslaughters” in 2011, the lowest number of incidents in one year since 1968.
Violent crimes peaked between 1986 and 1995, with more than 20,000 murders and “nonnegligible manslaughters” reported for each year during that time period, but have been on a net decline up until 2011.
Rape, robbery, and aggravated assault also reached a high during the early 90s. There were 109,062 reported rapes in 1992 and 687,732 reported robberies in 1991. But there were nearly twice as many aggravated assaults than those two crimes combined with 1,135,607 incidents reported in 1993.
However, these trends appear to be reversing. Robberies dropped to 354,396 cases in 2011 — the lowest number of annual robberies since 1970. In addition, the number of aggravated assaults also declined — dropping to 751,131 in 2011, which is nearly half the number of cases reported in 1993.
While the cases of rape also dropped — declining to 83,425 in 2011 — overall they have been steadily increasing since 1960, which saw only 17,190 reported cases of rape.
However, the FBI recently released preliminary crime statistics for 2012 that found the number of violent crimes has slightly increased since 2011. Despite the small increase, national violent crime rates still appear to be lower than they were throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.
The data for violent crime rates between 1960 and 2011 used in this article can be found here. Just select the variables you want to examine, then click “Get Table.”