National Crime Statistics for the United States

In a nation with a population as large as the United States there is bound to be a lot of crimes committed, and the FBI carefully tracks the incidences of both violent and non-violent crimes. The annual Crime in the United States report gives insight to national crime statistics and trends. The most recent report available for 2014 shows the following information:

Violent Crime

The report defines violent crimes as murder and non-negligent homicide, aggravated assaults, rapes, and robberies. In 2014 there were 1,165,383 reported incidences of violent crimes. Of those violent crimes reported, 63.6% were aggravated assaults, 28% were robberies, 7.2% were rapes, and 1.2% were murders.

These national crime statistics show a 0.2% decrease in violent crimes compared to 2013. The murder rate for 2014 was the lowest it has been since 2009. There are some questions about whether that trend will continue through 2015, as dozens of cities across the country have reported a drastic increase in murders this year. The number of violent robberies was down in 2014, but the number of aggravated assaults and rapes increased.

While these numbers may seem high, national crime statistics show that the current violent crime rate in the U.S. is much lower than it was in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. From 1993 to 2014 the rate of violent crime decreased from 79.8 victimizations per 1000 people to 20.1 victimizations per 1000.

Drug Violations

Drug violations made up a large sector of crime with more than 1.5 million arrests reported in 2014. 16.9% of drug violation arrests were for the sale or manufacturing of a controlled drug, and 83.1% of were for possession.

More than 700,000 of these arrests involved marijuana, with a majority of the charges being for possession. Marijuana legalization advocates point to this statistic to show that valuable resources in law enforcement, the legal system, and prison system are being wasted on marijuana possession arrests, while 35% of murders go unsolved.

Property Crimes

When it comes to national crime statistics for the U.S., there are substantially more property crimes than violent crimes or drug violations. In 2014 there were 8,277,829 property crimes reported. These crimes include burglaries, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. While these crimes may not have physical victims in the same way that violent crimes do, it is estimated that the total cost to victims of property crime in 2014 was $14.3 billion.

The good news is that property crimes actually declined compared to 2013. Reports show that burglaries went down by 10.5%, theft-larceny decreased by 2.7%, and motor vehicle theft dropped by 1.5%.

Most Dangerous Cities in America According to National Crime Statistics

National crime statistics paint a broad picture of the crime rates in our country, and like any other large country some cities and regions will have higher rates of crimes than others. According to statistics, the following cities have the highest rates of violent crime in the country:

1. Detroit, MI: While violent crime rates in Detroit have actually fallen for the last three consecutive years, it remains the most dangerous city in America. Violent crimes occurred at a rate of 1,989 per 100,000 people, and there were 298 murders in the city in 2014.
2. Memphis, TN: High poverty and unemployment rates may contribute the rates of violent crimes in Memphis. In 2014 the rate of violent crimes was 1,741 per 100,000 residents, and there were 140 murders.
3. Oakland, CA: While the median income in Oakland is higher than the national average and 39.1% of the residents hold at least a bachelor’s degree, this city has a major violent crime problem. While the violent crime rate has decreased since the previous year, there were still 1,685 violent crimes per 100,000 people and 80 murders in 2014.
4. St. Louis, MO: St. Louis has the highest murder rate per 100,000 people in the whole nation, making the murder rate almost 10 times higher than the national average. In 2014 the violent crime rate was 1,679 per 100,000 people.
5. Birmingham, AL: Adjusted for population Birmingham has the 7th highest murder rate in the country, and ranks in the top 10 for aggravated assault and robbery. The overall violent crime rate for the city is 1,588 per 100,000 residents.