Home Crime in the U.S. 2016 Crime in the U.S. 2016 Topic Pages Persons Arrested

Persons Arrested

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Definition

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program counts one arrest for each separate instance in which a person is arrested, cited, or summoned for an offense. The UCR Program collects arrest data on 28 offenses, as described in Offense Definitions. (Please note that, as of 2010, the UCR Program no longer collects data on runaways.) Because a person may be arrested multiple times during a year, the UCR arrest figures do not reflect the number of individuals who have been arrested; rather, the arrest data show the number of times that persons are arrested, as reported by law enforcement agencies to the 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.)

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

For tables within this publication that present data for 2016 only or provide a 2-year trend, the rape figures are an aggregate total of the data submitted based on both the legacy and revised UCR definitions. For 5- and 10-year trend tables, the rape figures for the previous year (2012 or 2007) are based on the legacy definition and the 2016 rape figures are an aggregate total based on both the legacy and revised definitions. For this reason, a percent change is not provided.

Data collection-juveniles

The UCR Program considers a juvenile to be an individual under 18 years of age regardless of state definition. The program does not collect data regarding police contact with a juvenile who has not committed an offense, nor does it collect data on situations in which police take a juvenile into custody for his or her protection, e.g., neglect cases.

Overview

  • Nationwide, law enforcement made an estimated 10,662,252 arrests in 2016. Of these arrests, 515,151 were for violent crimes, and 1,353,283 were for property crimes. (Note: the UCR Program does not collect data on citations for traffic violations.) (See Table 18.)
  • The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,572,579 arrests), other assaults (estimated at 1,078,808), and larceny-thefts (estimated at 1,050,058). (See Table 18.)
  • The arrest rate for the United States in 2016 was 3,298.5 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. The arrest rate for violent crime (including murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) was 159.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) was 420.6 per 100,000 inhabitants. (See Table 19.)
  • In 2016, 69.6 percent of all persons arrested were White, 26.9 percent were Black, and the remaining 3.6 percent were of other races. (See Table 21.)

Expanded arrest data

Expanded data about arrests include information about the age, race, and ethnicity of the arrestees. These data are available in the following tables:

What you won't find on this page

Clearance data for violent crimes and property crimes.

The number of persons who were convicted, prosecuted, and/or imprisoned. The UCR Program does not collect this information.

Data Tables

Roll over table numbers for table titles.

Table 18
Table 19
Table 20
Table 21
Table 22