WASHINGTON -- The nation's murder rate jumped 2 percent during the first six months of this year, with the highest increases in small towns and the Midwest, the FBI said yesterday. Crime fell nationwide for other significant offenses, including rape, arson, and assault.
After a dramatic decline in the number of murders last year, when the murder rate fell 5.7 percent, it increased 2.1 percent between January and June.
Citing figures collected under its uniform crime reports, the FBI said cities with populations less than 10,000 people experienced the largest increases, of 13 percent.
Murder rates rose across the country, but the Midwest experienced the highest increases with 4.9 percent.
Kansas City, for example, reported 56 murders in the first six months of this year but only 39 during the same time period in 2004.
The FBI did not disclose its raw crime counts for all communities because it considers these six-month reports to be preliminary. For all cities with more than 100,000 people, however, the agency reported 4,080 murders in 2005 and 3,979 in 2004.
The FBI said rapes nationwide fell nearly 5 percent, and arson crimes fell nearly 6 percent. Property crimes -- which include burglary, larceny and vehicle thefts -- declined overall 2.8 percent.
Assault fell just under 1 percent.
The FBI based its figures on crime reports from 10,374 police agencies around the country.