If President Donald Trump is to be believed, the current U.S. murder rate is at a 47-year high. The issue, however, is that the claim is not only patently false, but opposite the truth.
"I'd say that in a speech and everybody was surprised because the press doesn't like to tell it like it is," Trump said during a listening session with the National Sheriffs' Association, notes CNN. "It wasn't to their advantage to say that. The murder rate is the highest it's been in I guess 45-47 years."
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, current data shows that the U.S. murder rate is a fraction of a point away from its lowest level since 1970. The rate includes homicides and negligent murders. The rate has been steadily declining since the mid-1990s.
What's more, the violent crime rate (which includes murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault) is also at one of its lowest numbers since 1970, and has also declined since the early 1990s.
According to CNN, however, "The US did experience its highest one-year increase in the murder rate in half a century between 2014 and 2015." The increase between the two years was about 11 percent, says NPR. However, even with the 11 percent increase, 2015's murder rate still remains one of the lowest in 47 years.
"But criminal justice experts warn against comparing crime trends from short periods of time, such as month over month or year over year," reports The Washington Post. "An annual trend can show a trajectory of where the trend might be headed but still does not give a full picture. Many criminal justice experts say crime trends are determined over at least five years, preferably 10 or 20 years, of data."
Under this analysis, the United States is experiencing its lowest murder and violent crime rates since early in former President Richard Nixon's first term.