(NEXSTAR) – A massive data dump of 11 million criminal offenses reported to the FBI paints a complicated picture of crime in the United States, as well as South Dakota.
In 2022, violent crime overall, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, dropped modestly in the U.S. Violent crime was 1.7% lower in 2022 than in 2021, the FBI said.
The data, released Monday, shows South Dakota followed the national trend, with violent crime dropping as other types of crime increased in 2022.
The FBI relies on reporting by local law enforcement agencies to compile its report on the state of crime around the country. The agency estimates its national data covers about 94% of the population. In South Dakota, 107 law enforcement agencies submitted data, covering roughly 87% of the state’s total population.
The drop brings violent crime back to pre-pandemic levels in South Dakota, though not as low as it was between 2013 and 2015.
Violent crime rate in South Dakota
While the nation saw a 6.1% drop in homicides between 2021 and 2022, South Dakota saw an increase, jumping from 3 homicides per 100,000 people to 4.3. Though an increase, it’s not quite the 4.5 the state saw in 2020.
The murder rate in the U.S. jumped 29% during the pandemic, which created huge social disruption and upended support systems.
Richard Rosenfeld, criminal justice professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said the drop in violence can be attributed largely to the fact that the “stresses and strains” associated with the pandemic have abated.
“By and large what we’re seeing is simply a return to something approaching normal after the big changes associated with the pandemic,” Rosenfeld said.
Homicide rate in the U.S.
But on the flip side, property crimes rose in South Dakota last year. In 2022, there were 1,737 property crime offenses per 100,000 people, a jump from the 1,678 reported in 2021.
The nation as a whole saw a 7.1% increase in property crimes in 2022, ending years of decline. The FBI said carjackings increased 8.1% from 2021, and the vast majority of carjackings involved an assailant with a weapon. Someone was injured in more than a quarter of all carjackings.
Burglary, larceny, and arson also count as property crimes.
In South Dakota, robberies, motor vehicle thefts, and larceny increased in 2022 — all three remained below the national average, though.
There was no change when it came to burglaries, according to the FBI data.
Property crime rate in the U.S.
The FBI is also increasingly tracking hate crimes, with more local law enforcement agencies reporting crimes that are motivated by bias. Last year, the FBI said it received more than 11,000 reports of hate crimes from around the country. Victims of these crimes were most frequently targeted for their race or ethnicity, followed by religion and then sexual orientation.
The most common type in each category were anti-Black hate crimes (for race/ethnicity), anti-Jewish crimes (for religion), and anti-gay male crimes (for sexual orientation).
In South Dakota, authorities reported 16 total hate crimes in 2022. In 11 cases, the victims were targeted for their race, ethnicity, or ancestry. In another four cases, the victims were targeted for their sexual orientation. Authorities reported one hate crime that was influenced by multiple biases. The most common type in South Dakota was anti-Black hate crimes, followed by anti-American Indian.
Almost half of the hate crimes committed were considered simple assaults.
Though crime data for 2023 won’t be available from the FBI until late next year, experts expect the drop in violent crime to continue. A report released in July by nonpartisan think tank the Council on Criminal Justice used data from 37 surveyed cities. It found that murders dropped 9.4% in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2022, but vehicle thefts rose a whopping 33.5%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.