• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

California homicide rate drops to 44-year low

December 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A just-released report from the California Department of Justice found the homicide rate in California dropped to its lowest level in over 40 years.

According to the report, there were 4.7 homicides for every 100,000 people last year, which is a 7.8 percent drop from 2009. It's the lowest rate since 1966.

It is also the fifth straight year killings have declined in California.

Among the 35 most populous counties, Monterey and Merced had the highest homicide rates at 10 per 100,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.