Home News Press Room Press Releases FBI Releases Crime Statistics for 2003

FBI Releases Crime Statistics for 2003

Washington, D.C. October 25, 2004
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Washington, D.C.—The Federal Bureau of Investigation released crime figures for 2003 which showed that violent crime in the Nation declined 3.0 percent and property crime decreased 0.2 percent from the estimated volumes in 2002. Further, the 5- and 10-year trend data indicated that the volume of violent crime declined 3.1 percent from the 1999 estimate and 25.6 percent from the 1994 estimate. The volume of property crime rose 2.2 percent when compared to the 1999 data but fell 14.0 percent when compared to the 1994 data. A comparison of 2002 with 2003 data showed that the rate of violent crime in the Nation, estimated at 475.0 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, decreased 3.9 percent in 2003. The rate of property crime occurrences nationwide in 2003, estimated at 3,588.4 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, decreased 1.2 percent from the 2002 property crime rate.

The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program presented the data today in its annual publication, Crime in the United States, 2003. More than 17,000 city, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies representing 93.0 percent of the Nation's population voluntarily submitted crime statistics in 2003. The UCR Program presents data in two crime categories: violent crime and property crime. The violent crime category is made up of the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The property crime category is comprised of the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. In this report, the FBI also provides data on arson, hate crime, and law enforcement personnel in the Nation.

Violent Crime

  • At nearly 1.4 million offenses, the estimated volume of violent crime in the United States in 2003 declined 3.0 percent from the 2002 figure.
  • In 2003, the offense of murder was the only violent crime to show an increase in volume, 1.7 percent, compared to the 2002 data.
  • Collectively, the Nation's cities experienced a 3.9-percent decrease in violent crime in comparison to the 2002 figure. Violent crime decreased 3.7 percent in the Nation's nonmetropolitan counties and 1.0 percent in the Nation's metropolitan counties.
  • More than 30 percent (30.7) of violent crimes were committed with personal weapons such as hands, fists, feet, etc. Perpetrators used firearms in 26.9 percent and knives or cutting instruments in 15.2 percent of violent crimes. Other weapons were used in 27.3 percent of violent offenses during 2003.
  • The UCR Program estimated that in 2003 law enforcement agencies nationwide made 597,026 arrests for violent crime. Arrests for violent crime accounted for 4.4 percent of the estimated number of all arrests.

Property Crime

  • The 10.4 million property crimes estimated for 2003 reflected a slight decline (-0.2 percent) when compared to the 2002 estimate.
  • In the Nation's cities collectively, property crime decreased 0.3 percent from the 2002 figure. In nonmetropolitan counties, property crime increased 0.6 percent and in metropolitan counties, 0.2 percent.
  • Victims of property crimes (excluding arson) lost an estimated $17 billion, a 2.1-percent increase from the 2002 estimated dollar loss. Of the total loss, an estimated $8.6 billion was lost as a result of motor vehicle thefts, an estimated $4.9 billion was lost as a result of larceny-thefts, and an estimated $3.5 billion was lost as a result of burglaries.
  • Arrests for property crime accounted for 11.8 percent of the estimated number of arrests in 2003. Most of the property crime arrests (71.3 percent) were for larceny-theft.

Clearances

  • Law enforcement agencies nationwide cleared 46.5 percent of violent crimes in 2003. By offense type, agencies cleared 62.4 percent of murders, 55.9 percent of aggravated assaults, 44.0 percent of forcible rapes, and 26.3 percent of robberies.
  • Nationally in 2003, 12.2 percent of violent crime clearances involved only juveniles. Among the population groups, 12.2 percent of violent crime clearances in cities collectively involved only juveniles; 12.7 percent of violent crime clearances in metropolitan counties and 9.8 percent in nonmetropolitan counties involved only juveniles.
  • Across the United States, law enforcement agencies cleared 16.4 percent of all reported property crime in 2003. By offense, agencies cleared 18.0 percent of larceny-thefts and 13.1 percent of both burglaries and motor vehicle thefts.
  • In 2003, 19.3 percent of all property crime clearances involved only juveniles.

Arrests

  • Excluding traffic offenses, law enforcement agencies in the Nation made an estimated 13.6 million arrests in 2003.
  • The national arrest rate was 4,695.1 arrests per 100,000 in population.
  • The violent crime arrest rate was 205.3 per 100,000 inhabitants; the property crime arrest rate was 558.4 per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 2003, law enforcement in the Nation's cities collectively reported an arrest rate of 5,109.3 arrests per 100,000 inhabitants. Law enforcement agencies in the Nation's metropolitan counties made 3,731.0 arrests per 100,000 in population; law enforcement agencies in the Nation's nonmetropolitan counties made 3,961.2 arrests per 100,000 in population.
  • Compared to the data from 2002, the number of arrests in 2003 showed a slight increase, 0.2 percent. The number of arrests for violent crime in 2003 decreased 2.3 percent; the number of arrests for property crime increased 0.7 percent.
  • Adults comprised 83.7 percent of all arrestees in 2003.
  • By gender, 76.8 percent of those arrested in the Nation were male. Compared to the 2002 data, the number of males arrested in 2003 declined 0.4 percent; the number of females arrested in 2003 increased 1.9 percent.
  • An examination of arrestee data by race indicated that 70.6 percent of those arrested in the United States in 2003 were white.

Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter

  • The UCR Program estimated that 16,503 murders occurred in the United States in 2003. This figure represents a 1.7-percent increase from the 2002 estimate.
  • Law enforcement agencies provided the UCR Program with supplementary data for 14,408 murders in 2003. These data showed that most murder victims (90.6 percent) were adults and most were males (77.6 percent). Of the male murder victims, 8.2 percent were juveniles (persons under the age of 18). Juvenile females comprised 13.5 percent of female murder victims nationwide. By race, 48.7 percent of murder victims were white, 48.5 percent were black, and the remainder were of other races.
  • In 44.5 percent of murders, the relationship of the murder victim to the offender was unknown. Of the 55.5 percent of murders in which the victim/offender relationship was known, 77.6 percent of the victims knew their assailants.
  • In those murders for which law enforcement personnel reported victim and offender relationship data, 32.3 percent of females were killed by their husbands or boyfriends, and 2.5 percent of males were killed by their wives or girlfriends.
  • Of the murders involving a single victim and a single offender, 92.4 percent of black victims were killed by black offenders; 84.7 percent of white victims were killed by white offenders.
  • Of the murders in 2003 for which law enforcement identified the type of weapon, nearly 71 percent (70.9) involved firearms. Offenders used knives or cutting instruments in 13.4 percent of murders; personal weapons such as hands, fists, and feet in 7.0 percent of murders; and blunt objects in 4.8 percent of murders. Four percent of murders were committed with other types of weapons.
  • In 2003, law enforcement investigation was unable to determine the circumstance in 33.9 percent of murders in the Nation. The supplementary data also showed that more than 16 percent (16.4) of murders were committed during the commission of another felony such as during a robbery or a violation of a narcotic drug law.

Forcible Rape

  • An estimated 93,433 forcible rapes occurred in the Nation during 2003. This number represents a 1.9-percent decrease from the 2002 estimate.
  • The UCR Program estimated that 63.2 of every 100,000 females in the Nation were victims of forcible rape in 2003. This rate represented a 2.7-percent decrease from the 2002 rate.
  • By community type, the rate of forcible rape in the Nation's Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) was estimated at 64.5 forcible rapes per 100,000 females. There were an estimated 75.1 forcible rapes per 100,000 females in cities outside MSAs and 45.7 forcible rapes per 100,000 females in the Nation's nonmetropolitan counties.

Robbery

  • The United States had an estimated 413,402 robbery offenses in 2003, which was 1.8 percent fewer robberies than the 2002 estimate. The rate, estimated at 142.2 robberies per 100,000 in population, decreased 2.7 percent from the 2002 estimate.
  • The UCR Program estimated that nearly 30 percent (29.9) of all violent crimes in 2003 were robberies.
  • Robbery victims collectively lost an estimated $514 million in 2003, an average dollar loss of $1,244 per offense.
  • Offenders used firearms in 41.8 percent of robberies, strong-arm tactics (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 39.9 percent of robberies, and knives or cutting instruments in 8.9 percent of robberies. Other weapons were used in 9.4 percent of robberies.

Aggravated Assault

  • For the tenth consecutive year, the estimated number of aggravated assaults in the Nation declined. Based on law enforcement reports for 2003, the UCR Program estimated 857,921 aggravated assaults, a 3.8-percent decrease compared to the 2002 figure.
  • By volume, aggravated assaults comprised 62.1 percent of the estimated total number of violent crimes.
  • By rate, the UCR Program estimated that there were 295.0 aggravated assault offenses per 100,000 inhabitants in the Nation, a 4.7-percent decline from the 2002 estimate.
  • Aggravated assault offenders used personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) in 26.9 percent of offenses, firearms in 19.1 percent of offenses, and knives or cutting instruments in 18.2 percent of offenses. Other types of weapons were used in 35.9 percent of aggravated assaults.

Burglary

  • The Nation had an estimated 2,153,464 burglaries in 2003, a slight (+0.1 percent) increase from the 2002 estimated figure. The rate of burglary in the United States was 740.5 burglary offenses per 100,000 inhabitants, a 0.9-percent decrease from 2002 data.
  • Victims collectively lost an estimated $3.5 billion as a result of burglaries in 2003 with an average dollar loss of $1,626 per incident.
  • An examination of the burglary data indicated that forcible entry accounted for 62.4 percent, unlawful entry comprised 31.2 percent, and attempted forcible entry made up 6.3 percent of all burglary offenses.
  • Most burglaries (65.8 percent) occurred at residences; most residential burglaries (62.0 percent) occurred during the daytime.

Larceny-theft

  • The UCR Program estimated larceny-thefts at slightly more than 7 million offenses in 2003. This represents a decrease of 0.5 percent when compared to the 2002 estimate. In 2003, larceny-theft made up 67.3 percent of the estimated volume of property crime.
  • By category, thefts from motor vehicles accounted for the largest portion (26.4 percent) of larceny-theft offenses in the Nation.
  • In 2003, the value of property taken in larceny-theft offenses collectively was an estimated $4.9 billion. Property lost to thieves had an average value of $698 per offense. The highest average dollar loss, $1,030, was associated with thefts from buildings.
  • Nationwide in 2003, 18.0 percent of all larceny-thefts were cleared by arrest or exceptional means; 20.2 percent of larceny-theft clearances involved only juveniles.
  • The estimated number of arrests for larceny-theft offenses accounted for 71.3 percent of the estimated total number of arrests for property crimes.

Motor Vehicle Theft

  • The UCR Program estimated that nearly 1.3 million motor vehicle thefts occurred in 2003, a 1.1-percent increase in volume when compared to the 2002 data. The rate of motor vehicle theft, estimated at 433.4 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 inhabitants, remained virtually unchanged from the 2002 estimate.
  • Automobiles were stolen at a rate of 341.9 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 in population. Commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, were stolen at a rate of 86.2 and other types of vehicles at a rate of 38.3.
  • Collectively, victims of motor vehicle thefts lost an estimated $8.6 billion in 2003, which was an average dollar value loss of $6,797 per offense.
  • Nationwide, law enforcement agencies made an estimated 152,934 arrests for motor vehicle theft.

Arson

  • In 2003, 12,776 law enforcement agencies reported 71,319 arson offenses to the UCR Program.
  • Of the 71,319 arsons, law enforcement agencies provided supplementary data on 64,043 offenses. Of the arsons for which additional information was provided, law enforcement reported an average dollar loss of $11,942 per offense.
  • By property type, residential arsons had an average dollar loss of $19,062 for single occupancy dwellings and an average dollar loss of $23,977 for other residential-type arsons per offense. The average dollar loss for a mobile property arson was $6,381, and the average dollar loss for other property type arson was $3,467 per offense.
  • The Nation's law enforcement agencies cleared 16.7 percent of reported arsons in 2003. Juveniles comprised 41.3 percent of all the arson clearances.
  • An estimated 16,163 people were arrested for arson in 2003, 84.4 percent of whom were male. More than half (50.8 percent) of arson arrestees were under the age of 18; 31.2 percent of arson arrestees were under the age of 15.

Hate Crime

  • In 2003, 11,909 agencies actively participated in the hate crime portion of the UCR Program, and 1,967 of those agencies reported 7,489 hate crime incidents involving 8,715 separate offenses, 9,100 victims, and 6,934 known offenders.
  • Of the 7,489 hate crime incidents, 7,485 were due to a single-bias, and 4 were due to a multiple-bias.
  • More than half (51.4 percent) of all single-bias hate crime incidents in 2003 were racially motivated. Law enforcement investigators attributed nearly 18 percent (17.9) of hate crimes to a religious bias, 16.6 percent to a sexual-orientation bias, 13.7 percent to a bias based on ethnicity/national origin, and 0.4 percent to a disability bias.
  • In 2003, 63.3 percent of reported hate crime offenses were classified as crimes against persons, 36.0 percent were classified as crimes against property, and 0.7 percent were classified as crimes against society.
  • Law enforcement agencies indicated that intimidation was the most frequently reported hate crime. Intimidation accounted for 31.5 percent of all hate crime offenses and 49.7 percent of crimes against persons.
  • Destruction/damage/vandalism of property, the most frequently reported hate crime against property, comprised 30.0 percent of all reported hate crime offenses and 83.4 percent of hate crimes against property.

Law Enforcement Employees

  • In 2003, there were 3.5 full-time law enforcement employees, including both sworn officers and civilians, per 1,000 inhabitants in the United States.
  • Throughout the Nation, 14,072 city, county, state, and tribal police agencies actively participated in the law enforcement segment of the UCR Program. These agencies employed 663,796 full-time officers and 285,146 civilians and furnished law enforcement services to more than 274 million inhabitants.
  • Law enforcement in 2003 provided services to the Nation's cities collectively at a rate of 2.3 sworn law enforcement officers for every 1,000 inhabitants. Law enforcement in the Nation's smallest cities, those with less than 10,000 inhabitants, provided services at a rate of 3.3 sworn officers per 1,000 in population, the highest rate among population groups. Law enforcement in the Nation's cities with 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants provided services at a rate of 1.8 sworn officers per 1,000 in population, the lowest employment rate among the population groups. Law enforcement agencies providing services to metropolitan counties had 2.6 sworn officers for each 1,000 in population, and law enforcement agencies providing services to nonmetropolitan counties had 2.8 sworn officers for each 1,000 in population.
  • Most sworn law enforcement officers (88.6 percent) were male. Females comprised the majority (62.5 percent) of civilian law enforcement employees.