How informed are we about the national crime statistics? Do you know how many aggravated assaults take place in the United States? What about car thefts or robberies? How many arrests happen from one year to another?
Many of us have the privilege not to give these questions any thought. However, crime happens all the time in every country. And the US is no exception to that.
In the following statistics, you’ll find everything from the national crime statistics by race to the safest cities in the country. So, read on and allow yourself to be informed of the latest statistics in national crime.
Top Statistics on National Crime — Editor’s Pick
- Detroit had a crime rate of 1,965.33 in 2019.
- In 2019, more than 6 million property crimes were reported in the US.
- Property crime happened at a rate of 2,109 per 100,000 people in 2019.
- 2019 saw over 90,000 rape cases in the United States.
- The arrest rate for violent crimes is 156.3 per 100,000 citizens.
- The FBI reported 10.1 million arrests in 2019.
- 73.7% of murder cases involve a firearm.
- In 2019, 7,000 murder victims were Black males.
US Crime Statistics
This set of stats will tell you more about the most violent and most peaceful places in the US. It’ll also inform you about some of the most common types of crime.
1. In 2019, the crime rate in Detroit was 1,965.33 per 100,000 residents.
If we look at the crime statistics by city, we can see that Detroit was the most dangerous city in the US in 2019. That year, the authorities recorded around 1,965.33 crimes per 100,000 citizens.
Other cities with high crime rates were St. Louis, with around 1,927.32 crimes, and Memphis, with 1,901.42 reported crimes per 100,000 residents.
2. Provo-Orem, Utah, had a violent crime rate of 0.9 per 1,000 residents in 2020.
Official crime statistics show that Provo-Orem was the most peaceful metropolitan area in 2020, boasting a 0.9 crime rate per 1,000 citizens. In second place was the metro area of Lancaster in Pennsylvania, with a 1.8 violent crime rate. South Portland ranked third with a 1.2 crime rate.
3. Between 2009 and 2019, the US prison population decreased by 11%.
The United States has an unusually high number of prisoners. However, this number decreased between 2009 and 2019. Crime statistics reveal that, during this period, the total prison population went down by 11%.
Most of this decline (45% of it) came from federal prisons and institutions in New York and California. Moreover, the federal prison population dipped by 16%, while those of California and New York slumped by 23%.
4. In 2019, almost 7 million property crimes were reported in the US.
Property crime has been on a steady decline since the 1990s. All the same, it is the most common kind of crime in the States.
According to national crime statistics from 2019, 6,925,677 property crime cases were registered in the US. In the previous year, there were 7,219,084 property crimes.
The progress made on this front becomes even more apparent when we look at 12.9 million crimes reported in 1991. That year also happened to have the greatest number of property offenses in the last 30 years.
5. The national property crime rate was 2,109.9 in 2019.
We just discussed the number of property crimes in 2019. We can also put that number like this—the 2019 US crime rate for property offenses was 2,109.9 per 100,000 citizens.
Let’s compare this to the stats from previous years. In 2018, the rate was 2,209.8. Moreover, the rate of property crime cases was 5,140.2 in 1991, more than double the rate from 2019.
6. 5,086,096 larceny-theft cases occurred in 2019.
Larceny is the most common kind of property crime. In fact, law enforcement agencies reported around four times more larceny cases than violent offenses in 2019.
According to national crime statistics, out of roughly 7 million property crimes, larceny accounted for about 5 million cases in 2019. The category of violent crime had over 1 million cases that year.
7. Property crime victims collectively lost approximately $15.8 billion in 2019.
Every year, the collective damage caused by property crime in the US is worth billions of dollars.
According to the national crime statistics database held by the FBI, property crime victims collectively suffered a loss of $15.8 million in 2019.
We should emphasize that this number doesn’t include arson. This is because the data on that crime varies too much among reports from various agencies. As such, it isn’t very reliable.
8. Several days after George Floyd’s death, the number of daily crimes in Minneapolis grew from around 60 to over 110.
(City Crime Stats)
Comparing Minneapolis’ national crime rate by year, we see a significant rise in crimes on May 31, 2020, compared to the same day in previous years. This was because of the George Floyd protests that started on May 26, 2020.
Minneapolis reported 115 criminal incidents on May 31, 2020. Several years before (from 2015 to 2019, to be precise), it had an average of 58 crimes on that date.
9. Violent crime rates in the most dangerous US metro areas are 2.3 times the national average.
A look at national crime stats by the city reveals that heavily populated parts of the US are home to more violent crime. In the country’s most dangerous metro areas, the violent crime rate is more than double the national average.
More precisely, these areas have a rate of around 8.4 per 1,000 people. Meanwhile, the national average is somewhere around 3.7 cases per 1,000 residents.
10. In the first few weeks following the COVID-19 lockdown, the number of drug arrests in Chicago deflated by 42%.
A cursory look at the national crime index shows that the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 may have had a strong impact on drug arrests in Chicago. As the data reveals, shortly after the lockdown, Chicago recorded 42% fewer drug arrests.
The Chicago area has been suffering a lot due to COVID-19 infections. As such, it makes sense that it would enforce a strict lockdown, eventually leading to fewer drug arrests. Cook Country, of which Chicago is a part, reported almost 466,000 cases of the virus.
11. The number of residential burglaries in San Diego went down by 35% in June 2020 compared to June 2019.
National city crime rates suggest that, compared to the same month of the previous year, San Diego had fewer reported residential burglaries in June 2020. Around 35% fewer cases occurred that month, to be precise.
Whereas fewer burglars targeted private homes, commercial sites weren’t as lucky. Namely, San Diego authorities reported 23% more burglary cases happening in commercial buildings. The number of burglary cases rose somewhat sharply compared to the previous year that recorded 9% more cases.
National Violent Crime Statistics
Before we get to these stats, we should define what types of crimes belong to the category of violent crime. In a violent crime, a victim is threatened with or harmed by violence. Examples include rape, manslaughter, robbery, and aggravated assault. With that out of the way, let’s dive into the data.
12. In 2019, 16,425 murder and manslaughter cases were reported in the US.
US crime statistics outline a slight decrease in murder and manslaughter cases in 2019. That year, 16,425 murders happened.
Compared to 1991 when over 24,000 cases were reported, this number is considerably lower.
13. In 2019, the rate for murder and manslaughter was five cases per 100,000 residents.
In contrast to property crime, violent crime has had an erratic decrease. First, it dipped dramatically between 1993 and 2000. Then, it fluctuated all the way to 2008. In 2019, the rate was five cases per 100,000 people.
Although significantly lower than in the 1990s, the violent crime rate in 2019 isn’t the lowest in the last few decades. The national violent crime rate in 2014 for murder and manslaughter was 4.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
14. 98,213 forcible rape cases were reported in 2019.
Unlike property crimes and overall violent crimes, the number of forcible rapes happening every year has not been decreasing linearly. Though it did go down a lot from 1991 to 2013, the number of cases increased again by 2018.
Looking at the national crime statistics by year, we see that 98,213 cases of forcible rape took place in 2019. This presents a mild decrease compared to 2018 when there were 101,363 such cases.
15. In 2019, the number of reported aggravated assault cases was 821,182.
The term “aggravated assault” applies to situations when a person attempts to cause someone a serious injury. The vast majority of crimes of this type usually involve some sort of weapon.
According to national crime statistics, 821,182 cases of aggravated assault were reported in 2019. Furthermore, aggravated assault cases have been on the rise in the last couple of years.
16. 267,998 robbery cases were reported in 2019.
During the last decade, the number of robbery cases has slowly been decreasing. In 2019, it was the lowest since 2010.
According to the data found in the national crime database, 267,998 robbery cases were recorded in 2019. This was a mild drop compared to 2018. That year, 281,278 instances of robbery cases took place.
If we go even further in time, we can see that, at the beginning of the 90s, the number of robbery cases was almost three times higher than in recent years.
To be more precise, the number back then was higher than 600,000, and it even got close to 700,000 (687,730 cases) in 1991. Still, self-defense measures should still be kept in mind, such as keeping a handheld TASER or pepper spray in your purse.
BJS and FBI National Crime Statistics
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) store statistics on crime in their database. In the next set of stats, we will check out some of the most interesting data these two organizations have collected in the last couple of years.
17. In 2019, the arrest rate for violent crimes was 156.3 per 100,000 citizens.
Arrest rates for violent offenses are significantly lower than those for property crimes. According to violent crime statistics, the arrest rate for violent crimes was 156.3 per 100,000 residents in 2019.
Since property crimes were the most common type, their arrest rate was more than double the rate of violent offenses, with 343.3 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants.
18. 697,195 new officers were employed in 2019.
One of many reasons crime rates have slowly been decreasing in the last couple of years is that law enforcement agencies have been employing more police officers.
According to police crime statistics, 13,247 law enforcement agencies hired new officers in 2019. More specifically, they employed 697,195 sworn officers and 306,075 civilians. That translates to an employment rate of 3.5 per 100,000 residents.
19. In 2019, the FBI made 10.1 million arrests.
According to national crime databases, the FBI made more than 10 million arrests in 2019. However, this number doesn’t include traffic violations. If it had, it would have been even higher.
20. The last accessible data specifies that the murder rate of Black males is 8.3 times that of white males.
The murder rate of Black males has always been alarmingly high. In recent times, the rate has become much higher than that of other ethnicities.
When we look at crime rate statistics, we can see that Black males have the highest homicide rate — 32.5 per 100,000 persons. Meanwhile, the rate for white men is 3.9. In addition, the statistics reveal that Native Americans, both male and female, have a 4.0 murder rate, and Asians/Pacific Islanders have the lowest rate of 1.3.
21. In 2020, cities with fewer than 10,000 citizens reported a decrease of 7.2% in violent crimes.
The FBI crime index for the first half of 2020 reveals an interesting trend. Namely, towns with smaller populations reported a greater decrease in violent crime than larger cities.
Cities with a population lower than 10,000 had 7.2% fewer violent offenses in the first half of 2020. On the other hand, cities with populations between 100,000 and 249,000 people reported a decrease of only 0.3% in the same period.
22. 57.6% of hate crimes in 2019 were race-related.
National crime stats by race regarding hate crime reveal that over 57% of all cases recorded in 2019 involved one of these traits. According to hate crime statistics, the second most common motivation for hate crimes is religious bias.
Approximately 20.1% of hate crimes in 2019 happened to people targeted for their religion. Offenders motivated by sexual orientation made up 16.7% of all hate crimes that year.
23. American Indians and Alaska Natives face an incarceration rate of 401 per 100,000 persons.
Recent national crime statistics by race highlight an unusually high incarceration rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives. In fact, it’s almost double the national average.
In 2019, the incarceration rate for this demographic was 401 per 100,000 people. Compared to the national average at the time (226 per 100,000 population), this rate is woefully high.
National Crime Data
24. According to the latest data, one murder happens every 32.5 minutes.
Overall, violent crimes happen less often than property crimes. All the same, violent offenses still happen at an alarming rate. Out of these, homicides are the rarest, and yet they still occur too often.
Moreover, the national crime rate statistics show that a violent crime occurs every 26.2 seconds, while a murder takes place every 32.1 minutes.
In addition, this report on national crime shows that one rape happens every 3.8 minutes, one robbery every 1.9 minutes, and one aggravated assault every 39.2 seconds.
25. Most recent info suggests that a property crime occurs every 4.4 seconds.
The FBI national crime statistic shows that property crime has been the most common crime type in recent years. Namely, a property crime takes place every 4.4 seconds, while a burglary happens every 25.7 seconds.
Motor or vehicle theft is the rarest type of property crime. Motor vehicle theft statistics show that a car or any other kind of vehicle is stolen every 42.2 seconds.
26. With 61.4%, murder and manslaughter had the highest clearance rate in 2019.
If we look at national crime rates from 2019, we can see that murder and manslaughter had the highest clearance rate — 61.4%. The aggravated assault had the second-highest clearance rate of 52.3%, while the third-highest clearance rate of 32.9% was for rape.
27. 51% of US citizens said that crime was a severe problem in the US in 2020.
The majority of crimes in the United States take place in heavily populated areas. This, combined with the media exposure of crime rates, makes most people think the US has a big problem with crime.
National crime statistics from 2020 show that 51% of people think the crime rate in the US is too high and is, therefore, a severe problem for the country and its citizens. However, a mere 10% of people think that their area has a serious problem with crime.
28. In 2020, 78% of people in the United States believed there was more crime that year than in 2019.
The available data suggests that the overall national average crime rate has gone down year-by-year. However, people’s perception tells a different story.
According to the research, the majority of people — 78% of them — thought there was more crime in 2020 than in 2019. On the other hand, only 38% of US citizens felt crime was more widespread in their local area than in the previous years.
29. In 2019, 72.8% of law enforcement employees were men.
FBI crime statistics from 2019 show that only 27.2% of law enforcement employees were female. The situation was similar with law officers, where 87.2% were male, and 12.8% were female.
However, the situation was different with civilian law enforcement officers, where females dominate. They comprised 59.9%, while only 40.1% of officers were men.
30. Firearms were used in 73.7% of murder cases in 2019.
According to criminal statistics, 73.7% of murder cases in 2019 included firearms. On the other hand, perpetrators used knives and other cutting instruments in 10.6% of cases, while other unknown but dangerous weapons were used in 11.4% of all murder cases.
In addition, the stats reveal that only 4.3% of murders were committed with personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet.
31. Cars were stolen in 74.5% of vehicle theft cases in 2019.
The FBI’s national crime report shows us that cars were the most frequently stolen vehicles in 2019. So, perhaps you should not put off investing in one of the best car alarms on the market. In second place were trucks and buses, stolen in 16.2% of cases. All other vehicle types were stolen in 9.3% of cases.
32. In 2019, 6,446 murder victims were Black males.
US national crime statistics show that there were 13,927 murder victims in 2019. Out of these, 7,484 victims were Black people, while white people were in second place with 5,787 victims. Black men made up the majority of Black homicide victims. Out of 7,484 cases, they were the victims in 6,446 incidents.
33. In 2020, the number of homicides in California grew by 30%.
While the overall national crime rate has gone down compared to previous years, some crime types became more frequent in 2020, especially in particular cities. Perhaps the most troubling thing was the wave of homicides that happened in California that year.
Apparently, in 2020, the number of murders in the city grew by a whopping 30%. But murders weren’t the only crime to rise in 2020. Both commercial burglaries and motor vehicle theft grew by 20% that year.
34. In Q4 2019, Massachusetts had 194 sexual assault victims aged between 10 and 17.
The national crime statistics by state from Q4 2019 show that children aged between 10 and 17 were the most common victims of sexual assault in Massachusetts. The authorities reported 194 cases of victims from the 10–17 age group in that period.
Meanwhile, the 25–34 demographic had 190 cases. Conversely, people older than 65 were the least common victims. There were 21 such victims in Q4 2019.
From these statistics on crimes, we can see that crime is very much present in the United States. It’s hardly a unique problem, as every country has its share of crime, be it violent or otherwise. Although the statistics show that the US crime rate has dropped in recent years, there is still a lot of work for law enforcement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the national crime rate?
The violent crime rate in the United States is around 366.7 cases per 100,000 residents. On the other hand, the property crime rate is 2,109 per 100,000 people.
However, if we take a closer look at the recent statistics, we can see that the overall crime rate has slowly been decreasing in the last couple of years. For example, the crime rate back in 1991 was 758.20 cases per 100,000 citizens, which is a big difference compared to 2019.
What city in the US has the highest crime rate?
The state of Michigan has the highest crime rate in the United States. Specifically, Detroit leads the way as the most violent city in the country.
In 2019, there were over 1965.33 crimes per 100,000 citizens in Detroit. St. Louis was in second place with around 1927.32 crimes, and Memphis came in third with 1927.42 reported crimes.
How many crimes were there in 2019?
In 2019, over 1,200,000 violent crime cases were reported in the United States. That year, law enforcement agencies reported over 100,000 robberies, 16,000 murder cases, and 90,000 rape cases.
However, we can see that the violent crime rates have gone down in the last couple of years. The only notable exception has been rape that has fluctuated in recent times.
What US city has the most murders?
Although Detroit is the city with the highest crime rate overall, Chicago, Illinois, has the biggest number of murders. According to the available data, the city of Chicago had over 700 murder cases in 2020. That was a significant increase compared to 2019 when the city authorities reported around 500 or so homicides.
What crime is the most common?
With over 7 million reported cases, property crime is the most common crime type in the United States. Moreover, larceny and theft tend to be the most frequent, with over 5 million cases.
Violent crime, on the other hand, has approximately 2 million cases. Out of that number, 238,028 are rape cases.
What is the safest city in America?
According to the most recent data, the city of Broadway Heights in Ohio is the safest place to live in the United States.
Other particularly safe cities include Hopkinton (Massachusetts), Oakland Township (Michigan), Ridgefield (Connecticut), Bergenfield (New Jersey), and New Castle Town (New York).
We should also note that these cities have a 12.33 times lower crime rate than the national average.
Is the UCR reliable?
All factors considered, the UCR is reliable. The Uniform Crime Reports have access to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on crime in the United States. This makes them fairly accurate.
That said, the reports that come from the UCR provide the most reliable and up-to-date data. Every spring, the UCR data tool is updated with information on crimes in the US from the previous year.
What country has the lowest crime rate?
Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark are the countries with the lowest crime rates. The only two countries that come close to these are New Zealand and Japan.
All the countries mentioned above have very efficient law enforcement, and all of them have relatively restrictive gun laws compared to the United States.
In contrast, the countries with the biggest crime rates are Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and Afghanistan.
What are the 10 worst places to live in the United States?
Detroit is the most dangerous city with the greatest overall crime rate. However, it isn’t the only city with a very high rate of crime. The other nine cities with the highest rates are:
- Anchorage, Alaska
- Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Wichita, Kansas
- Lubbock, Texas
- Spokane Valley, Washington
- Shreveport, Louisiana
- Corpus Christi, Texas
- Mobile, Alabama
According to national crime statistics, all these cities have a violent crime rate of around 8.4 per 1,000 residents.