With midterm elections approaching, help us make everyone smarter about the economy. Donate Now
Daily Pulse

Crime down, FBI says

Joel Patterson Dec 19, 2011

The Pulse is up today on news that despite tough economic times, law-breaking is on a downward slide.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, violent crimes were down 6.4 percent in the first half of 2011 when compared to the same period last year.

The study, which collected data from 12,554 sheriff departments as well as state and county police around the country, saw drops in every category it measures, including property crime. Murder was down 5.7 percent, car theft was down 5 percent, arson was down 8.6 percent, and robbery dropped 7.7 percent.

Because we tend to equate higher rates of long-term unemployment and less funding for local government and police with more crime, the FBI’s report feels counterintuitive. So a natural reaction would be to dismiss study’s finding as an anomaly.

But, according to the study, the drop off in wrongdoing is a trend. This is the fourth year running the FBI’s seen the numbers shrink. Last year saw a 6.4 percent decrease, 2009 saw a 4.4 percent drop, and 2008 recorded a 3.5 percent fall.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.