For the second consecutive year, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased when compared with the previous year’s statistics, according to FBI figures released Monday.
In 2018, violent crime was down 3.3 percent from the 2017 number. Property crimes also dropped 6.3 percent, marking the 16th consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.
The 2018 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 368.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 2,199.5 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate fell 3.9 percent when compared with the 2017 rate; the property crime rate declined 6.9 percent.
These and additional data are presented in the 2018 edition of the FBI’s annual report Crime in the United States. This publication is a statistical compilation of offense, arrest, and police employee data reported by law enforcement agencies voluntarily participating in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
The UCR Program collects information on crimes reported by law enforcement agencies regarding the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, as well as the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. (The FBI classifies arson as a property crime, but does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson data is not included in the property crime estimate.) The program also collects arrest data for the offenses listed above plus 20 offenses that include all other crimes except traffic violations.
Of the 18,586 federal, state, county, city, university and college, and tribal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 16,659 agencies submitted data in 2018. A high-level summary of the statistics submitted, as well as estimates for those agencies that did not report, follows:
- In 2018, there were an estimated 1,206,836 violent crimes. The estimated number of three violent crime offenses decreased when compared with estimates from 2017. Robbery offenses fell 12.0 percent, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses fell 6.2 percent, and the estimated volume of aggravated assault offenses decreased 0.4 percent. The estimated volume of rape (revised definition) offenses increased 2.7 percent.
- Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,196,045 property crimes. The estimated numbers for all three property crimes showed declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 11.9 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 5.4 percent, and motor vehicle thefts were down 3.1 percent.
- Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $16.4 billion in 2018.
- The FBI estimated law enforcement agencies nationwide made 10.3 million arrests, (excluding those for traffic violations) in 2018.
- The arrest rate for violent crime was 159.9 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 361.2 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter was 3.7 per 100,000 inhabitants; rape (aggregate total using the revised and legacy definition), 7.7; robbery, 27.2; and aggravated assault, 121.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- Of the property crime offenses, the arrest rate for burglary was 54.9 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 275.5; and motor vehicle theft, 28.1. The arrest rate for arson was 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- In 2018, 13,497 law enforcement agencies reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2018, they collectively employed 686,665 sworn officers and 288,640 civilians—a rate of 3.4 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.
Caution Against Ranking: Each year when Crime in the United States is published, some entities use the figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rough rankings provide no insight into the numerous variables that mold crime in a particular town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. Consequently, they lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting communities and their residents. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing crime data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.