Home Crime in the U.S. 2016 Crime in the U.S. 2016 Topic Pages Violent Crime

Violent Crime

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Definition

In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force.

Data collection

The data presented in Crime in the United States reflect the Hierarchy Rule, which requires that only the most serious offense in a multiple-offense criminal incident be counted. The descending order of UCR violent crimes are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, followed by the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Although arson is also a property crime, the Hierarchy Rule does not apply to the offense of arson. In cases in which an arson occurs in conjunction with another violent or property crime, both the arson and the additional crime are reported.

Overview

  • In 2016, an estimated 1,248,185 violent crimes occurred nationwide, an increase of 4.1 percent from the 2015 estimate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • When considering 5- and 10-year trends, the 2016 estimated violent crime total was 2.6 percent above the 2012 level and 12.3 percent below the 2007 level. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • There were an estimated 386.3 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016, a rate that rose 3.4 percent when compared with the 2015 estimated violent crime rate. (See Tables 1 and 1A.)
  • Aggravated assaults accounted for 64.3 percent of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2016. Robbery offenses accounted for 26.6 percent of violent crime offenses; rape (legacy definition) accounted for 7.7 percent; and murder accounted for 1.4 percent. (Based on Table 1.) 

Violent Crime Offense

What you won't find on this page

Clearance and arrest data for violent crime.