CIUS Summary

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Washington, D.C.—The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased for the second straight year, rising 4.1 percent in 2016 when compared with 2015 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes dropped 1.3 percent, marking the fourteenth consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.

The 2016 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 386.3 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 2,450.7 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate rose 3.4 percent compared with the 2015 rate, and the property crime rate declined 2.0 percent.

These and additional data are presented in the 2016 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 streamlined the 2016 edition by reducing the number of tables from 81 to 29, but still presented the major topics, such as offenses known, clearances, and persons arrested. Limited federal crime, human trafficking, and cargo theft data are also included.

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. (Although the FBI classifies arson as a property crime, it does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson data are 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 18,481 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 16,782 submitted data in 2016. A high-level summary of the statistics submitted, as well as estimates for those agencies that did not report, follows:

  • In 2016, there were an estimated 1,248,185 violent crimes. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 8.6 percent when compared with estimates from 2015. Aggravated assault and rape (legacy definition) offenses increased 5.1 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, and robbery increased 1.2 percent.
  • Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,919,035 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes show declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 4.6 percent, larceny-thefts declined 1.5 percent, but motor vehicle thefts rose 7.4 percent.
  • Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $15.6 billion in 2016.
  • The FBI estimated that law enforcement agencies nationwide made 10.7 million arrests, excluding those for traffic violations, in 2016.
  • The arrest rate for violent crime was 159.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, and the arrest rate for property crime was 420.6 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), 7.3; robbery, 29.8; and aggravated assault, 119.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • By property crime offense, the arrest rate for burglary was 64.3 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 326.5; and motor vehicle theft, 26.7. The arrest rate for arson was 3.0 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 2016, there were 13,217 law enforcement agencies that reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2016, they collectively employed 652,936 sworn officers and 280,206 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.