Crime in Washington, D.C.
(formally known as the District of Columbia) is directly related to the city's changing demographics
, and unique criminal justice system. The District's population reached a peak of 802,178 in 1950. However, shortly thereafter, the city began losing residents
and by 1980 Washington had lost one-quarter of its population. In turn, economic recession and decaying neighborhoods led to increases in the crime rate. The population loss to the suburbs also created a new demographic pattern, which divided affluent neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park
from more crime-ridden and blighted areas to the east.
Despite being the headquarters of multiple federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) and United States Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA), the nationwide crack epidemic
of the 1980s and 1990s greatly affected the city and led to a massive increases in crime.
The crime rate started to fall in the late 1990s as the crack epidemic gave way to economic revitalization projects. Gentrification
efforts have also started to transform the demographics of distressed neighborhoods, recently leading to the first rise in the District's population in 60... Read More