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Good news for citizens of most of the major metropolises across America: The violent crime rate (including rape, assault, robbery, and murder) for 2013 has gone down across the US as a whole, as well as within large metropolises themselves.

While most of the popular media would paint the picture that the country is exploding in an epidemic of attacks and violence, the truth is much more positive. We have not seen violent crime rates this low since before 1970.

A massive national study which has been collecting data from police departments all over the country just released the data showing that Chicago, New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia all saw drastic reductions in murder as well as violent crime. Murders increased in Baltimore and Washington DC, though the violent crime rate overall still dropped.

In Chicago, there were 415 homicides in 2013, which is the fewest the city has seen since 1965. The story is similar in New York, where there were 333 homicides in 2013, which just happens to be a record low. Detroit was ever-so-slightly lower than that, with 332 homicides in 2013, down almost 20% from the year before, and the fewest homicides seen in 3 decades. Los Angeles and Philadelphia both had fewer homicides as well, with 255 and 246 respectively.

Baltimore and Washington DC both had increases in homicides, with 234 and 104 respectively. As mentioned before, however, violent crime rates overall decreased in both cities as well.

While it is a shame that the homicide rates have increased anywhere, the national trend of rapidly decreasing homicides is an encouraging one, and hopefully it continues.