Donald Trump Claims US Murder Rate 'Highest' in '47 Years' Despite FBI Data Showing Otherwise

FBI data does not back up Trump's claim.

ByABC News
February 7, 2017, 7:32 PM

— -- President Donald Trump made the claim today that the murder rate in the U.S. is the highest it's been "from 45 to 47 years" -- a claim that isn't backed up by data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years," President Trump said during a listening session at the White House today with county sheriffs from across the country.

2015 is the most recent year the FBI released its annual report compiled by its Uniform Crime Reporting Program. FBI data for crime in the U.S. in that report shows that the murder rate in 2015 was 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants -- the highest murder rate in six years. In 2009, the murder rate was at 5.0, while 10 years ago, in 2007, the murder rate was at 5.7.

The estimated murder rate jumped 10.8 percent from 2014 to 2015, which according to The New York Times was the highest increase in nearly half a century. Richard Rosenfeld, a professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis whose research focuses on crime trends, told The New York Times that the "10.8 percent increase in the murder rate in 2015 is the most since a rise of more than 11 percent from 1967 to 1968."

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, could not point to any specific data Trump was citing.

"I think that I will discuss it, but think he is relying upon data perhaps for a particular area," Conway said today in an interview with CNN. "I don't know who gave him that data."

ABC News has reached out to the White House for comment.

During the campaign, Trump repeated the claim of the murder rate being the highest in 47 years, which was fact-checked at the time as false.

"I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is," Trump said today, addressing the National Sheriffs’ Association’s executive committee. "It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years."

In his remarks today, Trump went on to mention crime in Chicago; "If you ran Chicago, you would solve that nightmare, I tell you," Trump said to the room of the sheriffs.

"Hundreds of shootings a month, it’s worse than some of the places that we read about in the Middle East, where you have wars going on," Trump said. "It’s so sad. Chicago has become so sad a situation."

There were 762 murders recorded last year in Chicago, according to police.

The Associated Press reported that last year's total represents a 57 percent increase over 2015, the biggest spike in murders in Chicago in 60 years.

ABC News' Jordyn Phelps, Chris Donovan, J.J. Gallagher and Emily Shapiro contributed to this report.

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