This article discusses the changes that lead to the false report of trends in the nation’s crime rate. For example, in 1996 with a population of 265 million there were 19,645 murders while in 2015 with 321 million there were 15,696 murders. While with a much higher population and a decrease in total murders, the FBI reported last year that there was an increase in murders by 4 percent from 2014.

Analysts say that this is due to the high concentration of homicides in certain cities like Baltimore, Chicago, and so on. When there is a small spike in these areas, it throws off the data as a whole. So when calculating these reports and statistics it is important to keep in mind all the factors. As another example these small spikes occurred usually in the same area of those cities maybe even in the same few blocks. So the nation as a whole was actually decreasing in crime but it’s reported higher for anomalies.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016 issue pages A12-13.