December 12, 2016

FBI Releases 2015 Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, Encourages Transition

Today, the FBI released details on more than 5.6 million criminal offenses reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2015. The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest report, NIBRS, 2015, provides a diverse range of information about victims, known offenders, and relationships for 23 offense categories comprised of 49 offenses. It also presents arrest data for those offense categories plus 10 more offenses for which only arrest data are collected.

The NIBRS Transition

Because it offers a more complete picture of crime, NIBRS is slated to become the UCR data standard by January 1, 2021. In his recent memo to UCR state program managers, FBI Director James B. Comey elaborated on the FBI’s desire for law enforcement agencies to transition from the Summary Reporting System (SRS) to NIBRS:

"This transition is supported by the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board (APB), the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, and the National Sheriffs’ Association, as well as the Executive Branch of our government....By transitioning to a NIBRS-only data collection over the next five years, the FBI will have faster access to more robust data that is necessary to show how safe our communities are and to help law enforcement officials and municipal leaders better allocate resources to prevent and combat crime in their jurisdictions."

According to NIBRS, 2015, many law enforcement agencies are making the transition, and funding has been awarded to a limited number of UCR state programs and agencies.

An Overview of NIBRS, 2015

In 2015, 6,648 law enforcement agencies, representing coverage of more than 96 million U.S. inhabitants, submitted NIBRS data. While not yet nationally representative (there are no estimates for agencies that did not submit NIBRS data), this coverage represents 36.1 percent of all law enforcement agencies that participate in the UCR Program.

  • Based on aggregate data, NIBRS agencies reported 4,902,177 incidents that involved 5,668,103 offenses, 5,979,330 victims, and 4,607,928 known offenders.
  • Agencies reported 3,081,609 arrestees, which includes all persons arrested as opposed to a subset of arrestees as was published in the 2012 and 2013 editions of NIBRS.
  • Of the reported offenses, 62.9 percent involved crimes against property, 23.2 percent involved crimes against persons, and 14.0 percent included crimes against society (e.g., gambling and prostitution). (Due to rounding, percentage breakdowns may not add to 100.0 percent.)

More detailed looks at these data are available with the interactive NIBRS map and the agency-level offense tables, which present statistics for each agency that reported 12 months of NIBRS data in 2015.


NIBRS victim types, collected for all reported offenses, may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.

  • Of the 4,158,264 individual victims reported in 2015, 23.8 percent were between 21 and 30 years of age.
  • A little more than half (50.9 percent) were female, 48.3 percent were male, and gender was unknown for 0.8 percent.
  • The majority of victims (72.0 percent) were white, 20.8 percent were black or African-American, 1.4 percent were Asian, 0.6 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, and less than 0.1 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Race was unknown for 5.2 percent of victims.

Known Offenders

In 2015, there were 4,607,928 known offenders, meaning that some aspect of the suspect—such as age, gender, or race—was identified and reported.

  • Of these offenders, more than 44.0 percent (44.4) were between 16 and 30 years of age.
  • By gender, most offenders (63.3 percent) were male, and 25.7 percent were female; gender was unknown for 11.0 percent.
  • By race, more than half (56.9 percent) of known offenders were white, 27.3 percent were black or African-American, and 1.7 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 14.1 percent of reported known offenders.

Victim-to-Offender Relationships

Concerning the relationship of victims to known offenders, there were 1,322,282 victims of crimes against persons (e.g., murders, sex offenses, assault offenses) and robbery offenses from the crimes against property category. The majority of these victims knew their offenders (or at least one offender where more than one was present).

  • More than half (52.3 percent) of the victims knew their offenders (or at least one offender where more than one was present) but did not have a familial relationship to them.
  • Nearly one quarter (24.8 percent) of the victims were related to their offenders (or at least one offender where more than one was present).


Law enforcement agencies submitted data to the UCR Program through incident reports and arrest reports for 3,081,609 arrestees.

  • Of these arrestees, 18.4 percent were 21 to 25 years of age.
  • By gender, 71.7 percent were male, and 28.3 percent were female.
  • By race, most (71.6 percent) arrestees were White, 24.4 percent were black or African-American, and 2.5 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 1.6 percent of arrestees.