A year removed from leading the U.S. in homicides with 506, Chicago recorded 415 in 2013, the fewest since 1965. 

Overall crime also declined by 16 percent in the city, falling to a level unseen since 1972. This came after a horrific start to 2013 that included 43 homicides in January alone, the most high-profile being the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, an honor student who was shot in the head just a week after performing at President Obama's second inauguration.

It was Chicago's most violent January in a decade and put the city on pace to surpass 2012's homicide count. Fortunately, the murder rate slowed down dramatically, a revelation that the Chicago Police Department attributes to altered crime-fighting strategies. 

"We are making significant progress by putting additional officers in high-crime areas, using intelligence to prevent retaliatory shootings, moving officers from administrative positions back to the streets," Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy explained in a statement. 

According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, implementing programs to keep young people active and out of trouble played a huge role in reducing crime. The Associated Press added that Emanuel said 20,000 people participated in the summer job program, a new record. 

To put things into perspective, there were 943 homicides in Chicago in 1992. While it might be too early to celebrate, progress has certainly been made.

[via ABC News]

RELATED: 10 Reasons Chicago's Murder Rate May Rise in 2013 
RELATED: R.I.P.: Remembering the Lives of Every Teenager Killed in Chicago This Summer