« Making the case against "mass supervision" | Main | "No Release: Parole grant rates have plummeted in most states since the pandemic started" »

October 16, 2023

FBI releases crime estimates showing "national violent crime decreased an estimated 1.7% in 2022 compared to 2021"

As reported in this official press release, headlined "FBI Releases 2022 Crime in the Nation Statistics," today brings new estimates of crime data in the US in 2022.  Here are highlights:

The data of Crime in the Nation, 2022 were released via several reports....  Of the 18,884 state, county, city, university and college, and tribal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 15,724 agencies submitted data in 2022.

The FBI’s crime statistics estimates for 2022 show that national violent crime decreased an estimated 1.7% in 2022 compared to 2021 estimates:

  • Murder and non-negligent manslaughter recorded a 2022 estimated nationwide decrease of 6.1% compared to the previous year.
  • In 2022, the estimated number of offenses in the revised rape category saw an estimated 5.4% decrease.
  • Aggravated assault in 2022 decreased an estimated 1.1% in 2022.
  • Robbery showed an estimated increase of 1.3% nationally....

The complete analysis is located on the UCR’s Crime Data Explorer.

The FBI's report of over a six percent homicide reduction in 2022 is a larger reduction than I have seen in any other reports or estimates.  For example, the Council on Criminal Justice crime accounting in January 2023 reported a 4% homicide reduction in 2022 based on certain key cities.  And the AH Datalytics final year-end spreadsheet reported a 5% reduction in murders in 2022 based on police reports from the biggest US cities.

Of course, as I have stressed in a number of prior posts, reported homicide declines for 2022 followed particularly high homicide rates in many locales in 2021, and we still have a way to go to get back to pre-pandemic homicide levels.  But these latest homicide and violent crime data from the FBI for 2022 are still good news to celebrate, especially since 2023 data from big cities suggest positive recent homicide trends are continuing and perhaps even accelerating. 

October 16, 2023 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

Comments

Thanks for posting this -- we've been waiting to see these numbers (researcher).

Posted by: Teri Carns | Oct 16, 2023 2:59:34 PM

Until they begin separating what a person is charged with from what the plea conviction is, the data is of limited use.

We know DAs in big cities are giving huge breaks. I’m certain more violent crimes are being reduced to non-violent crimes at record rates.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Oct 17, 2023 1:54:12 AM

Master Tarls, I think most (if not all) of the FBI data come from law enforcement (police) reports and records of arrests/charges. Same goes for the homicide data I have been mentioning from AH Datalytics (https://www.ahdatalytics.com/dashboards/ytd-murder-comparison/), which scrapes big city police data reports.

There likely is some uncertainty/noise in police data reports for homicide, but it likely does not connect to any prosecutorial plea practices. The folks at Bill's old haunt, C&C, have often asserted that police in California and elsewhere may not make as many arrests in lower-level drug and property cases if they expect/fear that a prosecutor will quickly drop those charges (or not charge them sufficiently seriously). But I have never heard claims that these kinds of forces impact police homicide counts/data.

Posted by: Doug B | Oct 17, 2023 9:19:55 AM

Who knows, but given the government's hiding of data regarding COVID and some other data screwups, who trusts now?

Posted by: federalist | Oct 17, 2023 10:39:36 AM

Doug, that's an interesting point--given the Labor Dept screwups, the COVID data misinformation etc., how can you justify bare reliance on FBI stats?

Posted by: federalist | Oct 17, 2023 11:54:51 AM

federalist, I am not trying to "justify" reliance on anything. I am explaining to Master Tarls that his concern about local DA plea policies distorting these FBI numbers would seem to be misguided given that, as I understand it, the numbers come from local/state police reporting to the FBI.

Perhaps these police are in the business of "data misinformation" when it comes to crime, but I have no basis to think or even suspect that there is funny business afoot. And I recall you have in the past taken great offense when police get accused of lying/misrepresentations in the CJ system (by Michelle Alexander, if I recall correctly). Are you now stating we should not put stock in police data, federalist, and are you now stating to share Alexander's mistrust of law enforcement representations?

Posted by: Doug B | Oct 17, 2023 12:41:33 PM

You are misrepresenting my past posts--lying about the criminal justice system undercuts public support for an effective CJ system--that does not mean that we hide from truths.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 17, 2023 2:03:43 PM

I do not mean to misrepresent your past postings, federalist, and I am not even sure what you are trying to say in these various comments in response to the latest release of the latest FBI crime data. Are you claiming or alleging the latest FBI crime data involves "lying about the criminal justice system"?

Posted by: Doug B | Oct 17, 2023 2:30:17 PM

Seems that some people hold these numbers suspect but only when they don’t align with their own narratives. I don’t recall them voicing any concerns when the numbers reflected an increase in violent crimes, etc.

Posted by: SG | Oct 17, 2023 3:51:59 PM

Doug,

I doubt much is occurring with homicides, but an assault? A strong arm carjacking down to a vehicle theft? When the numbers are counted, pre or post DA interaction, matters.

Posted by: TarlsQtr | Oct 17, 2023 3:54:14 PM

The point Doug is that I don't know. Federal statistic-keeping seems to have been compromised (do you even contest that?), and the DOJ/FBI have been shown to be very partisan. The issue is that we cannot take this as gospel given the messenger.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 17, 2023 4:54:08 PM

Master Tarls: I hear what you are saying, but I am pretty sure the FBI is reporting numbers that are all PRE-DA.

federalist: I have never taken anyone's numbers "as gospel," in part because everyone (including data gatherers) is subject to known and unknown biases.

Posted by: Doug B | Oct 17, 2023 5:32:43 PM

"But these latest homicide and violent crime data from the FBI for 2022 are still good news to celebrate, especially since 2023 data from big cities suggest positive recent homicide trends are continuing and perhaps even accelerating."

Uncritically passing along stats from a politically compromised FBI is problematic. And you questioned Tarls' post on this basis. Sure sounds like my criticism is at a minimum, directionally correct.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 19, 2023 2:22:03 PM

Do you think we should celebrate the FBI's reporting that crime is down, federalist? If you have a sound, evidence-based reason to question specifics of the FBI crime data, which is drawn from law enforcement reports, feel free to share. But FBI crime data has long been considered reliable, and I have always reported on it here.

Master Tarls said: "Until they begin separating what a person is charged with from what the plea conviction is, the data is of limited use." But that concern suggests that he does not trust crime conviction data, due to pleas (see, eg, Sydney Powell). That might be a valid concern for another data set, but understanding is that the FBI data is based on police data, so "plea" concerns are misguided. Do you have a different understanding of the FBI data?

Crime data is quite complicated, and certainly folks can "spin" the data in various ways. But, given historical reliance on FBI data and the FBI's explanation of their data collecting, I have no basis to assert these data are hinky. And, as the post highlights, homicide data from other accountings seem to be in line with the FBI data. If interested in real crime data expertise, check out Jeff Asher's substack: https://jasher.substack.com/

Posted by: Doug B | Oct 19, 2023 4:51:35 PM

"But FBI crime data has long been considered reliable, and I have always reported on it here." There are reasons to question that. Yeah, I like it when crime goes down. But celebrating minor decreases when there is so much preventable crime kinda misses the point. Chicago is a disaster. The 'rats run the show there.

Posted by: federalist | Oct 20, 2023 1:34:33 PM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB