US violent crime rate and incarceration rate, 1990-2011

"US violent crime rate and incarceration rate, 1990-2011"  -  The American Prospect (August 2013) 


Homicide rate 1950 - 2005  -  Bureau of Justice Statistics  (pdf page 8 - 10)

Homicide rate 1900 - 2002  -  Bureau of Justice Statistics

Homicide rate 1950 - 2004  -  Bureau of Justice Statistics

Vital Statistics of the United States: 1890-2003  -  Center for Disease Control

Vital Statistics of the United States: 1939-1964  -  Center for Disease Control

"US murder rate sees sharp increase in 2015"  -  BBC (Sept 2015)

Note: It looks like the BJS homicide statistics do not include killings by police and execution of criminals by the justice system, so I did not include them in the CDC totals.

"Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States"  -  Washington Post (Dec 2012)

"The gist of the article is that previous studies of homicide rates in the U.S. in the early twentieth century, which tend to claim that there was a surge in homicides in that time, are wrong for a number of reasons, specifically improving accuracy in reporting, and changes in the composition of the registration area. Within ‘comparable areas’ the homicide rate had not increased notably, but as the registration area grew it took in states with ‘appreciably’ higher homicide rates…. At least some of the early increase in violence was an artifact of policing practices, which changed from underreporting homicides to ‘over charging’ offenses by ‘one or two degrees’…in Philadelphia much of the apparent increase was caused by a transitory policy of counting deaths by automobile accident as homicides…in addition, a ‘dark figure’ of unreported murders decreased greatly. As a result, researchers now disagree about the existence of a ‘homicidal crime wave.’"  -  Jess Nevins (Jan 2012)  and  Springer (Feb 1995) 


"So, between ’75 and ’91, it’s almost certain that the increase in crime had to play at least some significant role in increasing the prison population. The scale of the crime boom that took place was dramatic: From 1960 to 1991, violent crime rose by 400 percent, and property crime rose by 200 percent."  -  Slate (Feb, 2015)

Incarceration rate by State 2011-2012  -  Bureau of Justice Statistics  (pdf page 9)

"Drug war prisoners make up only about one-fourth of an all-time high 2,268,000 people behind bars in the US, up 1.9% from 2003. But while the imprisonment juggernaut continues to roll along, there are faint signs that its growth is slowing. Last year's 1.9% increase in prison and jail population was lower than the year before (2.0%) and lower than the 3.2% average annual growth rate for the past decade. Of the nearly 2.2 million people behind bars last year, 50.5% were serving time for violent crime. That means that more than 1.1 million people were imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, mainly property and drug crimes."  -  Stop the Drug War (Oct 2005)

Crime Rates

Crime Rates 1960 - 2011  -  Disaster Center  (scroll down)

see also "U.S. Crime Rates 1960-2010: The Facts Might Surprise You"  -  The Left Call  (scroll down)

Crime Rates 1960 - 2011  -  Society Pages (Feb 2013)

"After World War II, crime rates increased in the United States, peaking from the 1970s to the early 1990s. Violent crime nearly quadrupled between 1960 and its peak in 1991. Property crime more than doubled over the same period."  -  Wikipedia

Property Crime Rates

Property Crime Rates 1960 - 2009  -  Wikipedia 

Crime Rates by State

Murder Rates by State 1996 - 2011  -  Death Penalty Information Center  (scroll down)

Crime by State 1980 - 2005  -  Disaster Center

Youth Crime

"Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General"  -  NCBI (2001)

Why Crime Has Dropped

"US crime rate at lowest point in decades. Why America is safer now."  -  The Christian Science Monitor (Jan 2012)

"Recently, scholars have added yet another explanation: Immigration – although not in the way that some people might expect. Cities and neighborhoods that have received the largest influx of immigrants (including Mexican immigrants) have had – despite popular stereotypes to the contrary – the largest drops in criminal violence. (See, for example here and here. Thus, increased immigration may explain part of the crime drop since 1990."  -  The Public Intellectual (May 2011)

"In a wider view, perhaps the more puzzling part of the story is the rapid upswing in violence from around 1960 to 1990 (see the first graph above)."  -  The Public Intellectual (May 2011)


"Among nearly 300,000 prisoners released in 15 States in 1994, 67.5% were

rearrested within 3 years."  -  The U.S. Department of Justice (June 2002)

Crime and Other Countries

Canadian Homicide Rates 1961 - 2006  -  McNeil Life Stories  from McNeil Life Stories (Sept 2011)

"Japan's gun policies are notoriously strict. Civilians cannot possess handguns, automatic assault weapons, semi-automatic assault weapons, military rifles, or machine guns. Japanese civilians aren't even allowed to own swords."  -  Business Insider (Jan 2013)

"Prisoner rates in Japan 1976-2005"  -  Dr. Tapio Lappi-Seppälä (2005)

"Over the past decade, Japan's image as one of the "safest countries in the world" has undergone a disturbing transformation and downgrading. The once-marginal crime rate has jumped an astronomical 150%."  -  Asia Times (August 2004)

"Violent crime in Japan is at a 23-year high--and rising."  -  Montgomery College (Feb 2000)

Mass Killings

"The First Mass School Shooting" - Slate (Dec 2013)

"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) released a National Sciences Foundation advisory committee report that identified violent media as one of three major risk factors associated with mass shootings." - Broadcasting & Cable (Feb 2013)  and  Report of the Subcommittee on Youth Violence of the Advisory Committee to the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate, National Science Foundation (Feb 2013)

"How many, indeed? There have been 62 public shootings in the last 30 years, according to an article in Mother Jones. Before Newtown there had been six mass shootings this year alone. We now have them more often than we have presidential elections, more often than we have the Olympics and the Grammy awards."

"The public shootings began in the 1980s. There were two gun massacres in the two decades before Ronald Reagan took office, one in 1966 and one a decade later. There were, by some estimates, more than 30 mass killings during his time in office alone."

"There were mass shooting prior to this, but they were mostly rational acts of violence, not random rage murders. On February 14, 1929, for instance, seven men were machine gunned to death in Chicago. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, while horrific, was a very a simple case of mobsters murdering rivals during Prohibition in order to retaliate for an earlier attempt to control the city’s bootlegging business."  -  Washington Monthly (Dec 2012)

"Mass shootings in the US are on the rise" - Mother Jones (Dec 2012)

"Counting only random mass murders with at least two casualties, Lankford found that 179 such crimes occurred between 1966 and 2010, an average rate of 3.97 per year. From 1966 to 1980, there were 20 mass killings for a rate of 0.75 per year, but in the 1980s the rate doubled to 1.8 per year, tripled in the 1990s to 5.4, and went up 160% in the 2000s to 8.7 per year. The rate could easily reach 10 per year during the present decade. If one counts attempted mass murders, the rate is about 26 per year." - AllGov (Dec 2012)