FBI Releases 2017 Crime Statistics
September 24, 2018
Washington, D.C.—After two consecutive years of increases, the estimated number of violent crimes in the nation decreased 0.2 percent in 2017 when compared with 2016 data, according to FBI figures released today. Property crimes dropped 3.0 percent, marking the fifteenth consecutive year the collective estimates for these offenses declined.
The 2017 statistics show the estimated rate of violent crime was 382.9 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, and the estimated rate of property crime was 2,362.2 offenses per 100,000 inhabitants. The violent crime rate fell 0.9 percent when compared with the 2016 rate; the property crime rate declined 3.6 percent.
These and additional data are presented in the 2017 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 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. (The FBI classifies arson as a property crime, but it does not estimate arson data because of variations in the level of participation by the reporting agencies. Consequently, arson data is 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.
In 2013, the FBI’s UCR Program initiated the collection of rape data under a revised definition within the Summary Reporting System. The term “forcible” was removed from the offense name, and the definition was changed to “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.” In 2016, the FBI Director approved the recommendation to discontinue the reporting of rape data using the UCR legacy definition beginning in 2017.
Of the 18,547 city, county, university and college, state, tribal, and federal agencies eligible to participate in the UCR Program, 16,655 agencies submitted data in 2017. A high-level summary of the statistics submitted, as well as estimates for those agencies that did not report, follows:
- In 2017, there were an estimated 1,247,321 violent crimes. The estimated number of robbery offenses decreased 4.0 percent, and the estimated number of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses decreased 0.7 percent when compared with estimates from 2016. The estimated volume of aggravated assault and rape (revised definition) offenses increased 1.0percent and 2.5 percent, respectively.
- Nationwide, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes. The estimated numbers for two of the three property crimes showed declines when compared with the previous year’s estimates. Burglaries dropped 7.6 percent, larceny-thefts decreased 2.2 percent, but motor vehicle thefts rose 0.8 percent.
- Collectively, victims of property crimes (excluding arson) suffered losses estimated at $15.3 billion in 2017.
- The FBI estimated law enforcement agencies nationwide made 10.6 million arrests, (excluding those for traffic violations) in 2017.
- The arrest rate for violent crime was 160.7 per 100,000 inhabitants; the arrest rate for property crime was 388.7 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- By violent crime offense, the arrest rate for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter was 3.8 per 100,000 inhabitants; rape (aggregate total using the revised and legacy definition), 7.2; robbery, 29.3; and aggravated assault, 120.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- Of the property crime offenses, the arrest rate for burglary was 61.7 per 100,000 inhabitants; larceny-theft, 296.0; and motor vehicle theft, 28.2. The arrest rate for arson was 2.8 per 100,000 inhabitants.
- In 2017, 13,128 law enforcement agencies reported their staffing levels to the FBI. These agencies reported that, as of October 31, 2017, they collectively employed 670,279 sworn officers and 286,662 civilians—a rate of 3.4 employees per 1,000 inhabitants.
The FBI launched the Crime Data Explorer (CDE) on June 30, 2017, in response to the need for law enforcement, the media, academia, and the American public to easily search for and find data from the UCR system. The CDE is a Web-based, interactive environment where users can query, view, and download crime data. The CDE significantly changes the way UCR data is consumed and provides more specific and timely information. The 2017 crime data is now available in the CDE.
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.