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Regional Differences in Crime Drop

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The FBI's preliminary first-half 2010 crime stats. show a substantial drop in crime, as has been widely reported.  See prior post here.  There is a curious regional difference, though.

Violent crime is down 6.2% nationally.  By region, though, it is down 7.8% in the South, 7.2% in the West and Midwest, and hardly changed in the Northeast.  For murder, the regional variation is even greater.  Murder is down a whopping 12% in the South, down 7.2% and 6.3% in the West and Midwest respectively, and up 5.7% in the Northeast.

These numbers bounce around from one time period to another.  In 2009, the Northeast improved somewhat more than the rest of the country.  In 2008, the Northeast and Midwest had fractional point increases in murder while the South and West dropped about 7%.  I wouldn't jump to any conclusions based on one report, but the nearly 18% spread from best to worst region is remarkable and the variation is worth keeping an eye on.

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