U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-02-2013, 03:17 PM
 
14,111 posts, read 22,747,327 times
Reputation: 4208

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
Crime is clearly lower by all measures. In fact, the homicide rate last year at 4.7 per 100,000 was the lowest since 1961, and that year was one of the lowest in the last hundred years. The murder rate last year was lower that it was exactly 100 years ago, in 1911.

From the Bureau of Justice Statistics, this graph only goes to 2006 but it has fallen more since then:

Bureau of Justice Statistics Homicide Trends

Homicide rate since 2006:
2007 5.7
2008 5.4
2009 5.0
2010 4.8
2011 4.7
FBI — Table 1
Well, you also have to understand the overall population of the US has also gone up. So the actual number of murders in 2011 may not have been as low as it was in 1911, but the population is so much more higher than it was in 1911. That's kinda what I was talking about when the numbers don't lie, but they kinda do lie.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-04-2013, 10:45 PM
 
9,858 posts, read 10,107,308 times
Reputation: 5275
Quote:
Originally Posted by polo89 View Post
Well, you also have to understand the overall population of the US has also gone up. So the actual number of murders in 2011 may not have been as low as it was in 1911, but the population is so much more higher than it was in 1911. That's kinda what I was talking about when the numbers don't lie, but they kinda do lie.
You can be selective in how you present figures. For instance In Canada, if you are murdered you are much more likely to be knifed to death by someone you know than in the USA.

It's a true statement, but it can be misleading. The overall number of murders in Canada (34 million people) are fewer than Chicago. Because guns are far less available, the killing of strangers is very low in that country. Likewise, the murder weapon of choice is often a knife, because it is much more likely to not be a pre-meditated murder, but a crime of anger against someone you know.

It's like the statistic that world population growth peaked in about 1960. Once again, it is true by percentage growth, but the world was only 3 billion people back vs 7 billion now.

The world population growth in absolute numbers peaked in 1990 at 87.4 million. It has reduced to roughly 77 million today.

Also a true statement, but the absolute number of births is roughly the same. It's just that a greater percentages of those births are in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The number of deaths has simply increased by about 10 million a year (mostly of age related deaths in the developed world, but also because of AIDS epidemic in Africa). Although the world is approaching Zero Population Growth, that primarily means the wealthy world is slowly dying off, and there is 11 million children born a month that will have access to media that was unheard of by their ancestors. They will all grow up wanting to live like the Kardashians, while many of their grandparents just dreamed of living to the age of 60.

We may be approaching the Malthusian disaster predicted 2 centuries ago. If you are unfamiliar with the work of the Reverend Malthus, he was the first person to write widely about concepts that we call the population explosion. He wrote when the population of the world was closer to 1 billion. His conclusion was that population growth can only be stopped by widespread disease, war, and starvation. He was talking on a level unknown to the world as of today (makes WWII look like a bush skirmish).

Last edited by PacoMartin; 01-04-2013 at 10:56 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2013, 11:03 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,541,281 times
Reputation: 746
The homicide rate chart is very useful, and I'm pretty sure that other crimes follow a broadly similar pattern, albeit at higher frequency.

I don't know if there's been a deliberate campaign to scare people, I usually shy away from those kinds of explanations. But there has been a rising tide of "news" about violence. Last time I looked in, local television news was pretty much nothing but crime and violence. The internet provides new sources of information about crime, and one crime in my neighborhood is one too many, no matter how unrealistic that is. We've certainly been told that the public realm is scary. It's now impossible to give someone an unwrapped treat at Halloween, no matter how vanishingly rare the legendary razor blade in the apple was.

I'd be interested in the data about increasing crime in the inner suburbs, intiuitively that makes sense. I also think that as middle class people move into central cities and move out into rougher neighborhoods. For these gentrifiers (descriptive, not judgmental, term) crime, somewhat understandably, becomes an obsession. To the extent that they want to live a life more in public than their parents, crime becomes all the more of an issue. People don't necessarily take much comfort in the fact that the total volume of crime is dropping.

Meanwhile it's neighborhoods like Englewood that really still take the brunt of crime. In some of those neighborhoods, things have improved, crime has dropped in South Central LA though it's still high and much higher than in the rest of the city.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-04-2013, 11:48 PM
 
14,111 posts, read 22,747,327 times
Reputation: 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
You can be selective in how you present figures. For instance In Canada, if you are murdered you are much more likely to be knifed to death by someone you know than in the USA.

It's a true statement, but it can be misleading. The overall number of murders in Canada (34 million people) are fewer than Chicago. Because guns are far less available, the killing of strangers is very low in that country. Likewise, the murder weapon of choice is often a knife, because it is much more likely to not be a pre-meditated murder, but a crime of anger against someone you know.

It's like the statistic that world population growth peaked in about 1960. Once again, it is true by percentage growth, but the world was only 3 billion people back vs 7 billion now.

The world population growth in absolute numbers peaked in 1990 at 87.4 million. It has reduced to roughly 77 million today.

Also a true statement, but the absolute number of births is roughly the same. It's just that a greater percentages of those births are in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The number of deaths has simply increased by about 10 million a year (mostly of age related deaths in the developed world, but also because of AIDS epidemic in Africa). Although the world is approaching Zero Population Growth, that primarily means the wealthy world is slowly dying off, and there is 11 million children born a month that will have access to media that was unheard of by their ancestors. They will all grow up wanting to live like the Kardashians, while many of their grandparents just dreamed of living to the age of 60.

We may be approaching the Malthusian disaster predicted 2 centuries ago. If you are unfamiliar with the work of the Reverend Malthus, he was the first person to write widely about concepts that we call the population explosion. He wrote when the population of the world was closer to 1 billion. His conclusion was that population growth can only be stopped by widespread disease, war, and starvation. He was talking on a level unknown to the world as of today (makes WWII look like a bush skirmish).
This world is eating it's self.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2013, 12:34 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,211,814 times
Reputation: 8054
Quote:
Originally Posted by polo89 View Post
Well, you also have to understand the overall population of the US has also gone up. So the actual number of murders in 2011 may not have been as low as it was in 1911, but the population is so much more higher than it was in 1911. That's kinda what I was talking about when the numbers don't lie, but they kinda do lie.
It's a chart of homicide rates, not absolute numbers. I think that would be per 100,000 population?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2013, 12:54 AM
 
522 posts, read 489,501 times
Reputation: 315
I was raised in the 1980s to early 1990s and I would find it a bit strange people my age saying "things used to be safer." I grew up in a small town. The President of my High School class is already dead from drugs and alcohol-related violence was more common in my class than I think it is in the town's High School today.

At the same time I wonder if focusing only on the homicide rate is entirely right. Other kinds of violent crime (aggravated assault, rape, etc) I think can make one feel unsafe too. And certain places may have seen an increase in crime. Also I think if the person was raised before 1965 they may understandably feel less safe now as the murder rate does look to have been fairly consistently low from 1951-1964 and media coverage of violence was, I believe, much less in that era.

But again in my era, I graduated High School in 1995, tales of murder and violence were common. In 1994 "Homicide: Life on the Street" had the episode "Bop Gun" where Robin Williams character states "It isn't why me anymore it's 'when me.'"

Last edited by TAJR; 01-05-2013 at 01:06 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2013, 02:01 AM
 
23 posts, read 31,413 times
Reputation: 51
Because people are forgetful and ignorant of the stats.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2013, 02:35 AM
 
14,111 posts, read 22,747,327 times
Reputation: 4208
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAJR View Post
I was raised in the 1980s to early 1990s and I would find it a bit strange people my age saying "things used to be safer." I grew up in a small town. The President of my High School class is already dead from drugs and alcohol-related violence was more common in my class than I think it is in the town's High School today.

At the same time I wonder if focusing only on the homicide rate is entirely right. Other kinds of violent crime (aggravated assault, rape, etc) I think can make one feel unsafe too. And certain places may have seen an increase in crime. Also I think if the person was raised before 1965 they may understandably feel less safe now as the murder rate does look to have been fairly consistently low from 1951-1964 and media coverage of violence was, I believe, much less in that era.

But again in my era, I graduated High School in 1995, tales of murder and violence were common. In 1994 "Homicide: Life on the Street" had the episode "Bop Gun" where Robin Williams character states "It isn't why me anymore it's 'when me.'"
Yeah, you grew up in that era. Movies like Dangerous Minds(1995) come to mind. I was a child in that era, and I remember being leary of certain people, and having police come speak at our school about that stuff. And DARE shirts, and the whole 9. House got broken into as a kid, car got stolen, an old woman who used to babysit us was murdered(stabed) when I was 6(1995). Scary times.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2013, 04:15 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,496,195 times
Reputation: 2574
I think our communities functioned and were composed differently in the past. I think that difference, however difficult it might be to describe, plays a role in answering the OP's whopper of a question. White/middle-class flight, chasing the new and beige, keeping up with the Jones, socio-economic segregation, the Yuppie era and rise of the transient middle class, and fall of the healthy working class are all relative to answering the OPs question. There have also been cultural changes. People have become less humble, which by itself I think has a ton of things attached to it. People are divided according to whether they went to college. People are divided politically. It's hard to describe, but there's definitely something to what I'm saying. The world has sped up. Cellphones and the internet play a role in it all too. Personally, I think the way our culture/country has changed over the most recent decades is why I enjoy movies and tv shows from prior times, but even into the 90s.

Edit: while thinking about this, I think I just realized something that may very well be a big player in the decimation of true, deep, strong communities, and that is that everybody goes to college now and has for a while, and afterward people scatter all over the place and hardly go back to the neighborhoods in which they grew up. The communities in which a majority of people who grew up there are still around seem like a thing of the past, except for maybe small towns, which themselves have become dysfunctional (fall of industry/manufacturing, rise of methamphetamine) and only the non-college kids with no real plan for life stay.

If we, as a society, would provide that middle group of people between poor and true middle class to have a successful life (financial security, honest living) again like in the past, I think that might be key to solving the problem. When there's no clear-cut option to be "modestly successful" and working-class or poor kids believe they're not good enough for college and have never been around anybody to inspire them in such a direction - well, that doesn't make for stand-up citizens. We're not going to become a utopian white-collar professional society like some folks seem to believe. People are being swept under the rug.

^I know what I've said is a bit out there, but I think it's all relevant to the OP's question. The break down of true communities and no permanence could be the cause of people not feeling that the world is as safe as it once was even though stats say otherwise.

Last edited by MOKAN; 01-05-2013 at 04:40 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-15-2017, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,609 posts, read 1,623,694 times
Reputation: 6122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austinite101 View Post
Being from the youngest generation, I hear that whole "back in my day" kind of thing a lot from older generations. Maybe its because they were young and were oblivious to the crime occurring at the time. Maybe its because they didn't feel they need to lock doors lol. They point is, you are right. Crime is at the lowest its been in generations.
Maybe crime went down because doors started getting locked.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top