According to the F.B.I.’s latest crime report released on September 15, the South is the only region in the country that experienced a rise in its murder rate in 2007. The FBI reported that the murder rate in the country declined to 5.6 murders per 100,000 people in 2007 from 5.7 in 2006, and the rate declined in the Northeast, the Midwest, and the West. In the South, however, the murder rate increased from 6.8 in 2006 to 7.0 in 2007, the highest rate among the four regions. The South consistently has had the highest murder rate among the four regions.

The South also leads the country in executions: 100% of the executions carried out in 2008 have been in the South and 86% of those carried out in 2007 were in this region. By contrast, the Northeast has the lowest murder rate in the country and the fewest number of executions. The Northeast also experienced the sharpest decline in its murder rate among the four regions, while carrying out no executions in 2006-08. The complete F.B.I. report can be found here.

(U.S. Department of Justice, F.B.I., “Crime in the U.S., 2007,” September 2008). See also Studies and Deterrence.

2007 2006 EXECUTIONS SINCE 1976
As of 9/01/08)
South 7.0 6.8 921
West 5.3 5.6 67
Midwest 4.9 5.0 127
Northeast 4.1 4.5 4