If you’ve gotten a sense from recent news cycles that violent crime was becoming more of an issue than we’ve become accustomed to over the past couple of decades, recent data shows that it’s not just your imagination. The Free Beacon has the 27th and latest edition of the National Crime Victimization Survey and results are not encouraging. Published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the survey tracks the number of American citizens who fall victim to a variety of categories of violent crime. After decades of steady decline, the numbers seem to have reached a plateau in the past several years and are showing disturbing signs of heading back in the wrong direction.
The two-decade-long crime decline appears to have conclusively plateaued, a new report released Monday shows, as the share of Americans who faced a violent crime remained between 0.9 and 0.6 percent for the 12th year running.
Data from the latest National Crime Victimization Survey, a nationwide survey conducted annually since 1993 by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, show that roughly 1.2 million Americans, or 7.3 per 1,000 adults, report having been violently victimized in the past year. That’s down from 8.6 per 1,000 in 2018, the first year to see a significant uptick in decades.
But the bigger picture the new data paint is of a stalled-out crime decline. After falling precipitously from 1993 through the mid-2000s, the violent victimization rate has hovered around 8 per 1,000.
If you click through the link above to view the chart, the trend being discussed is immediately apparent. The crime rates we experienced in the early nineties when the survey began are probably unimaginable to younger people who grew up in the 21st century. And those rates were a holdover from the late seventies and into the eighties, which were even worse. That period is referred to as “the great crime wave,” and an average of 3% of Americans were victims of some form of violent crime every year.