Home Crime in the U.S. 2015 Crime in the U.S. 2015 Tables Table 13 Table 13 Data Declaration

Table 13 Data Declaration

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Crime Trends, by Suburban and Nonsuburban Cities by Population Group, 2014-2015

The FBI collects these data through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

Important note about rape data

In 2013, the UCR Program initiated the collection of rape data under a revised definition and removed the term “forcible” from the offense name. The UCR Program now defines rape as follows:

Rape (revised definition): Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. (This includes the offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object as converted from data submitted via the National Incident-Based Reporting System [NIBRS]).

Rape (legacy definition): The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.

Since the implementation of the revised definition of rape in 2013, not all agencies/state UCR programs have had the ability to change their records management systems to accommodate the change. Therefore, this report provides a column for rape (revised definition) and a column for rape (legacy definition). The data shown in the rape (revised definition) column include those from agencies that reported rape under the UCR revised definition for 2014 and 2015 as well as converted data from agencies that reported data for rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object via the NIBRS for both years. The data shown in the rape (legacy definition) column include only those agencies that reported rape under the legacy definition via the Summary Reporting System (SRS) for 2014 and 2015; it does not include any converted NIBRS data.

General comments

  • This 2-year trend table provides the number of offenses for 2014 and 2015 and the percent change between these 2 years for suburban and nonsuburban cities. 
  • Suburban cities include law enforcement agencies in cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants that are within a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) but exclude all metropolitan agencies associated with a principal city. 
  • Nonsuburban cities include law enforcement agencies in cities with less than 50,000 in population that are not associated with an MSA. 

Methodology

  • The data used in creating this table were from all law enforcement agencies submitting at least 6 common months of complete offense reports for 2014 and 2015. If the FBI determines certain variables have created unusual fluctuations in the data, those data are excluded from the tabulations. 
  • A crime trend represents the percentage change in crime based on data reported in a prior equivalent period. In calculating trends, the UCR Program includes only common reported months for individual agencies. 
  • The rape figures for those agencies that changed from reporting rape under the legacy definition in 2014 to the UCR revised definition of rape in 2015 are not included in this table. Because the UCR Program has not received 2 consecutive years of data for rape (legacy definition) or 2 consecutive years of data for rape (revised definition), the national UCR Program cannot provide a 2-year rape comparison for these agencies. This includes 1,607 agencies with a total population of 43,422,691 inhabitants. 
  • The percent changes shown for the offense of rape (revised definition) are based on data from those agencies that submitted rape data according to the UCR revised definition for both 2014 and 2015 as well as converted data from agencies that reported data for rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object via the NIBRS for both years. 
  • The percent changes shown for the offense of rape (legacy definition) are based only on data from those agencies that submitted rape data according to the legacy definition via the SRS for both years; it does not include converted NIBRS data. 
  • Because rape data reported by all agencies for 2014 and 2015 cannot be aggregated for reasons noted above, the percent changes from one year to the next are calculated with smaller numbers than in recent years. Offenses with fewer counts are often sensitive to minor differences when calculating trends. The following table provides the actual number of reporting agencies and populations covered for each definition of rape. (As previously noted, agencies that submitted data using rape [legacy definition] for 2014 and rape [revised definition] for 2015 are not included in this table.)

Populations used to calculate rape rates (based on rape definition used for submitted data)
by Suburban and Nonsuburban Cities1
by Population Group, 2015

Population Group

Agencies using the revised UCR rape definition

Agencies using the legacy UCR rape definition

Agency count

Population

Agency count

Population

Total Suburban Cities

4,914

42,840,149

701

5,803,048

IV (25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants)

472

16,147,321

54

1,732,859

V (10,000 to 24,999 inhabitants)

973

15,683,052

147

2,346,855

VI (Less than 10,000 inhabitants)

3,469

11,009,776

500

1,723,334

Total Nonsuburban Cities

3,078

18,036,058

593

3,590,776

IV (25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants)

152

5,416,558

31

1,122,630

V (10,000 to 24,999 inhabitants)

357

5,590,875

66

1,019,873

VI (Less than 10,000 inhabitants)

2,569

7,028,625

496

1,448,273

1Suburban cities include law enforcement agencies in cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants that are within a Metropolitan Statistical Area. Suburban cities exclude all metropolitan agencies associated with a principal city. Nonsuburban cities include law enforcement agencies in cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants that are not associated with a Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Population groups

The UCR Program uses the following population group designations: 

Population Group

Political Label

Population Range

I

City

250,000 and more

II

City

100,000 to 249,999

III

City

50,000 to 99,999

IV

City

25,000 to 49,999

V

City

10,000 to 24,999

VI1,2

City

Less than 10,000

VIII (Nonmetropolitan County)2

County

N/A

IX (Metropolitan County)2

County

N/A

1Includes universities and colleges to which no population is attributed.

2Includes state police to which no population is attributed.

Population estimation

For the 2015 population estimates used in this table, the FBI computed individual rates of growth from one year to the next for every city/town and county using 2010 decennial population counts and 2011 through 2014 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each agency’s rates of growth were averaged; that average was then applied and added to its 2014 Census population estimate to derive the agency’s 2015 population estimate.