clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Gun homicides (like all homicides) are down from the 1980s/1990s

It’s really a lot better than it was.

Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

The murder rate declined significantly in the United States in the 1990s:

Pew Research Center

Most homicides in the US (74.4 percent in 2016) are committed with guns, so it should come as no surprise that the gun homicide rate dropped over this period, too. Michael Planty and Jennifer Truman of the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that between 1993 and 2011, gun homicides fell 39 percent, and non-fatal firearm crimes fell 69 percent.

There was a slight uptick in murder rates in 2015 and 2016, but they fell in 2017 and appear to have fallen in 2018 too.

A chart showing the crime rates through 2018, based on data from 19 of the 30 largest US cities. Brennan Center for Justice

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.