Homicides are not the major reason of deaths in the US, any more, claims a new study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
A sharp decline in homicides cases has been observed in the last two years, which has astonishmed criminologists who expected them to rise due to the growing unemployment in the US.
This is for the first time in over 45 years that murder has plummeted as the top cause of death in the US.
Murders in the US have reduced from 17,826 in 2008 to 16,799 in 2009.
The latest CDC statistics show that murder fell to 16,065 in 2010, which is lowest rate since 1962.
"We were surprised by these results. From 2002 to 2008 the murder rate did not change all that much and when it decreased in 2009 we didn't know if that it a blip but now we've seen it fall again," said Sherry Murphy, one of the report's authors.
She further said that between 2002 and 2008 the murder rate had lingered at around six per cent, but is now down to 5.3. The figure for 2001 was 7.1, which included over 3,000 victims of the September 11 attacks in the nation's murder count.
"Overall, this is good news for Americans and, it would seem to indicate good news for people's health and for the state of society," she added.
Major US cities have witnessed the maximum plunge in murder rate during the last two decades, The Telegraph reports.
Between 1990 and 2010, homicide cases in New York fell by 76 per cent, in Los Angeles by 70 per cent and in Chicago by 49 per cent.
The number of deaths caused by pneumonitis, a respiratory illness, has swapped with homicides as one of the top reasons of deaths among US citizens.