Homicides in US dropped by more than 13% in 2023, FBI data shows

By Thomson Reuters Mar 19, 2024 | 4:13 PM

(Reuters) – Homicides across the U.S. dropped by more than 13% in 2023, according to FBI data released this week, declining for the second consecutive year after a precipitous spike during the coronavirus pandemic.

The largest cities – with a population of more than 1 million – saw murders drop by more than 20%, while violent crime in those cities went down by more than 10%, according to the FBI Quarterly Uniform Crime Report, which collects data from thousands of police departments around the country.

The nationwide decreases extended beyond killings to virtually every category of violent and property crime, including rape, assault, and robbery.

The only category to see an increase in 2023 was motor vehicle theft, which went up by nearly 11%.

The data is at odds with the public perception that crime is worsening. In November, a Gallup poll found than nearly two-thirds of Americans viewed crime as either extremely or very serious, and more than three-quarters of Americans believed crime was on the rise.

Republicans, including presidential candidate Donald Trump, have attacked Democrats as weak on crime. In response, President Joe Biden has touted the lowered crime rates, particularly in large cities.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, in a statement on Tuesday, credited the Justice Department’s violent crime reduction strategy, including targeting gangs and repeat offenders, seizing illegal guns and hiring more officers.

FBI data showed homicides spiked nearly 30% in 2020 to a two-decade high.

(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by David Gregorio)