Crime rates are expected to decline in most of the largest U.S. cities after some saw upticks in murders last year, according to a new report.
The Brennan Center for Justice projects overall crime rates for the 30 largest U.S. cities reporting data will decrease an average of 1.8 percent in 2017. The largest declines over the last year are expected to be in the District of Columbia (-10.5 percent), San Diego (-10.1 percent) and Austin (-9.6 percent).
Portland, Ore., is the only city that is expected to register a significant year-over-year increase (15.4 percent).
If the estimates hold, 2017 will mark one of the best years in recent decades, continuing a steady long-term downward trend in crime rates and contradicting any notion that cities are experiencing a crime wave.
Murders are projected to end the year down 2.5 percent from last year. Detroit, Houston and New York all reported large declines.
The report suggests that increases seen in 2015 and 2016 were temporary fluctuations.
Overall, violent crime levels remained steady, ticking down an average of 0.6 percent based on the Brennan Center’s projections. Cities with particularly large projected declines include Columbus, Ohio (-12.4 percent), Indianapolis (-17.9 percent) and Washington, D.C. (-27.5 percent).
The report's researchers calculated crime projections by comparing crimes to the proportion of crimes reported to date last year. Average annual population growth between 2010 and 2015 was assumed to remain constant this year. Data was unavailable for some cities.