Trump claims Philadelphia murder rate is “terribly increasing”

The Philadelphia annual murder rate was 277 in 2016, a decrease from its high of 391 in 2007

On January 26, 2017 President Donald Trump spoke at the GOP Annual Retreat in Philadelphia.  In his speech, to provide some background information to support his agenda, he stated, “Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady  … I mean just terribly increasing.”

In fact, the murder rate is fluctuating marginally year-to-year, but has decreased from an overall high in 2007.

Information from the Philadelphia Police Department (

Although murder rate is generally tracked year-to-year, Trump may have been referring to the murder rate year-to-date.  If that is the case, there is significant issue with looking at such a small number of days because of the variation in the rate over short periods of time.  The year-to-date murder rate for 2017 (as of January 27) was 27, up from 18 for the same period in 2016 and up compared to 2015 when the rate was 25.  So, even though the rate has increased year-to-date in 2017, it doesn’t represent a trend that is significantly out of the ordinary (“terribly increasing”).