DC homicide rate lowest in 45 years

Washington D.C. recorded its lowest homicide rate in 45 years in 2009. The number of murders dropped twenty-five percent from 2008: falling from 186 to 140 in a single year. Even more impressive is the decline since 1991, where killings in Washington D.C. spiked at 489 deaths.

“It’s huge,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. “We’re making an impact.”

While the District’s improvement is heartening and well above the ten percent national per-capita rate decline, when compared to many other large cities, D.C. still ranks among the most dangerous cities in America. In 2009, there were 23 killings per 100,000 D.C. residents, almost four times the per-capita rate for New York City.

The Seventh Police District had the highest number of murders (40) last year, while the Second District (which contains Georgetown, Dupont Circle, and Cleveland Park) was among the safest areas of the city, with no killings reported in 2009.

Photo from Flickr user Davidsonscott15 used under a Creative Commons license.

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