FBI data shows Minnesota's murder rate dropped significantly in 2016

- Though the nation might be seeing a slight increase in violent crime overall, new data from the FBI shows Minnesota's rate stayed nearly flat from 2015 to 2016, with a significant drop in homicides as well.

The state saw a nearly 25 percent decline in murders last year, which bucks a national trend driven by increasing violence in certain city centers like Chicago and Baltimore. In total, the United States saw a nearly 8 percent increase in homicides.

Minnesota is one of seven whose violent crime rate per capita has changed less than one percent year-over-year, while eleven states saw their total crime rates decline overall. Violent crime encompasses murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. 

Within the city of Minneapolis, there were 35 murders and 4,622 violent crimes, while St. Paul notched 19 murders and 1,970 violent crimes. 

The data shows that America has seen a slight bump in crime rates over the last five years, but over the last decade crime rates have dropped by nearly one-fifth, igniting a fierce national debate over how to interpret the data.

President Trump on the campaign trail last year repeatedly cited rising crime rates--calling them a "national tragedy"--though many experts make note of the fact that overall, crime numbers are still near the bottom of a three-decade decline. 

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