The FBI released its Uniform Crime Report (UCR) figures for 2017 last month and what little coverage the release received discussed small drops in both murder and violent crime nationally in 2017 relative to 2016. The FBI figures showed a 0.7 percent decline in murder from 2016 to 2017 and a 0.2 percent decline in all violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery and assault). The Justice Department’s press release bragged that “after two consecutive, historic increases in violent crime, in the first year of the Trump Administration the nationwide violent crime rate began to decline.”
If one were asked “were more people murdered in the United States in 2016 or 2017?” the logical answer would seem to be 2016. The correct answer, however, is we don’t know.