The city recorded 548 homicides in 1963, the first year of reliable citywide records, CNN reported. There were 2,245 homicides in 1990.
To date, the record low is 471, set in 2009.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking at a police graduation ceremony in Brooklyn, credited police officers for the drop.
"The fact that the safest big city in America is safer than ever is a testament to the hard work and determination of the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day -- and it also reflects our commitment to doing everything possible to stop gun violence," Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg said there would have been 1,400 homicides in New York if its rate was similar to Chicago's -- and 4,400 with a rate equal to Detroit, the New York Daily News said.
The number of shootings, 1,353, was also a new low.
Police only began keeping reliable records of non-fatal shootings in 1994, and the previous low was 1,420 in 2009.