70% of Americans Think Crime Rate is Rising … but it Isn’t

Friday, November 06, 2015
(graphic: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

There seems to be a disconnect between Americans’ perception of crime rates and the actual amount of crime in the United States.


A new Gallup poll showed 70% of respondents believe crime has gone up since last year, when 63% said crime had risen from 2013 levels. But government data has shown a downward trend in crime rates from the mid-1990s to the current decade.


“According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, the overall violent crime rate for rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault fell from 80 victimizations per 1,000 persons in 1994 to 19 per 1,000 in 2010,” according to Gallup.


Justin McCarthy at Gallup pointed out that Americans’ perceptions of crime “are not always on par with reality. Despite government data showing declining violent crime rates in the U.S. over the past two decades, majorities of Americans in Gallup’s trend still maintained that crime had increased nationally.”


The survey also found that crime victims were no more likely to think the crime rate had increased than non-victims were. In addition, since the election of President Barack Obama, conservatives and Republicans are far more likely than liberals and Democrats to say the crime rate is up.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

More Americans Say Crime Is Rising in U.S. (by Justin McCarthy, Gallup)

When Daylight Saving Time Ends, Crime Goes Up (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

West Virginia, the Only State to See a Rise in Crime over 18 Years, also has Greatest Increase in Imprisonment Rate (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)


anonamouse 11 months ago
The crime rate most certainly is rising.... on TV, which is where many Americans get their sense of the larger Reality. Other myths supplanting Reality that have been propagated by America's estate-run media include: the belief that CO2 emissions are rising catastrophically, when in fact, US emissions have been essentially flat since 1992; the belief --- the scientific "consensus" until recently --- that "marijuana" is a gateway drug more dangerous than tobacco or alcohol; the concomitant myth that heroin is likewise more health-destroying than alcohol or tobacco; the myth that high cholesterol produces strokes and arterial disease; and so forth. Reality? We don't need no stinkin' Reality.
moses bryant 11 months ago
all sorts of crimes: violent, financial, theft, lies, are skyrocketing in DC

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