Supplement to Measuring Public Safety Expanded to include final 2016 data for 294 cities with populations of 100,000 or greater

Measuring Public Safety Supplement Square


In Measuring Public Safety: Responsibly Interpreting Statistics on Violent Crime, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) used historical crime trend data to illustrate some common pitfalls when interpreting statistical data on crime. This supplement expands Vera’s previous analyses by incorporating official Uniform Crime Reporting statistics for 2016 and providing data on crime rates for 294 cities with populations of 100,000 or greater, analyzed by population groupings and across census regions.

Key Takeaway

Ultimately, the message from the FBI’s 2016 data is this: America is much safer than it was two or three decades ago, and its response to crime is working in most places, which have stable or declining crime rates.

Publication Highlights

  • Across all crime types, most cities experienced stable rates of reported crime between 2015 and 2016.

  • The analyses presented in this supplement confirm that the majority of U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or greater have not been experiencing unusual increases in violent crime generally or homicide specifically.

  • Although crime levels did increase in 2016 in some places, these increases do not represent a nationwide crime epidemic, but rather a city-level phenomenon that will require targeted local solutions.

Key Facts