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A study by Just Facts, a nonprofit research institute, examined the number of murders in 2021 based on death certificate data and found that if the current 2021 crime rate continues, one out of 179 Americans will eventually be murdered over the course of their lifetimes.
Jim Agresti, president and co-founder of Just Facts, who authored the study, told Fox News Digital, “That means if you’re in the United States, you live here, you’re born and you spend your life here, your odds of your life ending by murder are one in 179 over your life. Not over a year or any other timeframe.”
“It’s just somebody’s gonna murder you before you die of natural causes, an accident, suicide, whatever it may be,” he continued.
‘Buried’ FBI data
According to Just Facts’ study called, “As Murders Soar, FBI Buries the Data,” the FBI underreported murder rates and published “incomplete data” for 2021.
The FBI estimated that between 21,300 and 24,600 people were murdered last year.
Just Facts noted that “the sole place” where the FBI reported the estimated number of murders was located in a “buried report.”
The FBI’s reporting system relied on law enforcement agencies nationwide to voluntarily report crime data. Nearly 40% of U.S. police departments did not provide the FBI with complete crime data for 2021 by the March deadline. The FBI acknowledged a decline in reporting participation from law enforcement agencies last year.
In 2021, the FBI changed to a new reporting system that, according to Just Facts, made it “far more difficult to access national estimates of murders and other crimes.”
The FBI did not reply to a request for comment, Fox News Digital reported.
Just Facts study
The study by Just Facts relied on “a more reliable source” – death certificates. Unlike the FBI’s voluntary reporting system, death certificate reporting is mandatory.
Based on that data, Just Facts concluded that “a higher number and rate of homicides in the United States compared” to FBI data, “likely due to the differences in coverage and scope and the voluntary versus mandatory nature of the data collection as described above.”
After adjusting for justifiable homicides by civilians, some justifiable homicides by police, and miscoded cases, the study found that about 24,493 people were murdered in 2021. There were roughly 1,000 fewer murders in 2020.
To provide a “sense of scale,” Just Facts reported that if the crime rate remained the same, one out of every 179 Americans would eventually be murdered.
“Even in previous years, when murders were much less common, the lifetime likelihood of murder was so shocking to some people that they sent repeated emails to Just Facts insisting it was wrong,” the study stated. “Yet, the methodology used by Just Facts to compute this figure was developed by a licensed actuary, double-checked by a Ph.D. mathematician and triple-checked by a Ph.D. biostatistician.”
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