(CBS Seattle) — There were only 16 recorded homicides in Portland for the year 2013; it is the lowest total since 1971 when 15 were tallied.

The number of killings last year was a 45 percent drop from 2012, according to The Oregonian.

An aging population in Portland is being seen as a key to the substantial drop in homicides. Criminal justice experts claim that with the larger number of older people (adults in their 50s and 60s), the city doesn’t experience as many violent street crimes.

Another reason for the lower number is advancements in emergency equipment and life-saving techniques. For instance, trauma surgeons now use special dressings with active chemical ingredients to help stop bleeding — one type known as “combat gauze.”

By contrast, Seattle recorded 29 total homicides — more than half were shootings. Six of those shooting deaths were by the hands of police officers, according to city crime statistics.

Chicago led all major U.S. cities with 415 homicides.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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