Some Statistics Of Crime

It seems many people have a skewed view of the US crime rate. An older generation will often say they remember the good ol' days, when you could run around the neighborhood as a kid. Back then, parents didn't worry like they do today. There wasn't any crime when they were a kid. You could leave your house unlocked and nobody had car alarms.

But the statistics don't match their version of the world, back then or now. Let's look at some numbers throughout the years. The last national crime statistics completed is from 2010. We will go back thirty years and look at crime in ten year intervals. But we will not look at the number of instances, but rather a more accurate per population percentage.

The overall crime rate has risen over the years, but the majority can be attributed to property/home theft and auto theft. But when people say it isn't safe to walk the streets these days, that's not a fair assessment. We'll look at two of the more violent crimes: murder and rape.

This ratio is 1 - X , X being the population needed for the crime to occur.
Example: in 1980, out of every 9,780 persons, 1 would be murdered.

1980.....1 - 9,780
1990.....1 - 10,610
2000.....1 - 18,056
2010.....1 - 20,934

1980.....1 - 2,715
1990.....1 - 2,425
2000.....1 - 3,120
2010.....1 - 3,642

In 1980, your chances of being murdered were more than doubled what it is today. You were over 30% more likely to be raped than you are today. In contrast to the likelihood of being murdered in 2010:

You were 4,000 times more likely to contract food poisoning.
Having an adverse prescription drug reaction....1 - 655
Dying from above adverse drug reaction....1 - 3,732

Given this statistic, in 2010 your chances of dying from a bad reaction to a medication was over five times greater than your chances of being a victim of murder.

The following is data accounting for "True" kidnappings.

The FBI started tracking kidnappings in 1998. Before that, they can estimate around 200 - 300 annually. The latest numbers suggest it is now around 130ish annually. But those numbers can be deceptive if you just take it at face value. The threat of kidnapping triples at age 2, then just as quickly declines at age 3. This can easily be attributed to custodial interference, a dispute over child custody during a divorce. The rate slightly increases through young childhood and is up and down through the teen years.

But at age 20 the number of kidnappings increase at a drastic rate. They remain high throughout the 20's and start dropping off a little after age 30. So, what does this mean? You are three times more likely to be kidnapped at age 20 than you are at age 6.

So, if you are reading this and you're 20,21,22.... be aware of your surroundings. You have a 300% greater chance of being stolen today than you did 15 years ago. That's not to say it was safer 15 years ago, but rather young adults are taken more often than young children.
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1 Response Apr 24, 2012

I read a book err rather a "coffee table" book by a homicide detective who worked in the 30's thru the 50's. It was more like a scrap book with commentary. One quote sticks out for me.."There is no such thing as, the good ol' days".