NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Chicago has dethroned New York for the grim distinction of murder capital of the U.S., according to statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation this week.
According to the FBI’s statistics, there were 500 murders in Chicago in 2012, compared with 419 murders in New York last year, which was a record low.
The number of reported murders went in opposite directions for the two cities from 2011 to 2012. New York had about 100 fewer murders last year compared with 2011, while Chicago saw a spike in the number of homicides.
The statistics also show that New York has a population three times larger than Chicago.
Overall, the FBI report found that the number of violent crimes reported last year rose 0.7 percent over the year prior. However, violent crimes dropped 1.2 percent last year in the northeast, according to the FBI’s statistics.
Nationwide in 2012, there were an estimated 1,214,462 violent crimes, according to the FBI.
The FBI issued a caution against its rankings.
“Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.”
Mayor Bloomberg touted the city’s record low murder rate last year and credited police tactics with the reduction in crime, including the controversial stop-and-frisk program.
The mayor noted that in 1990, the city averaged about six murders a day. Last year saw the fewest murders in the 50 years since reliable records have been kept.
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