Washington, D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691
January 21, 2020

2019 Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics Overview

The FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveals overall declines in the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported for the first six months of 2019 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2018. The report is based on information from 14,273 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data for both years to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

Violent Crime

  • All four of the offenses in the violent crime category—robbery, rape, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, and aggravated assault—show decreases when data from the first six months of 2019 were compared with data from the first six months of 2018. The number of robbery offenses decreased 7.4 percent, rape offenses dropped 7.3 percent, murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses fell 3.9 percent, and aggravated assault offenses were down 0.3 percent.
  • The overall number of violent crimes decreased in all city population groups. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 50,000 to 99,999 reported the largest decrease, 4.8 percent. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 100,000 to 249,999 reported the smallest decrease, 0.9 percent.
  • Violent crime decreased 4.5 percent in nonmetropolitan counties and fell 3.5 percent in metropolitan counties.
  • Violent crime decreased in all four of the nation’s regions. These crimes were down 5.0 percent in the West, 4.4 percent in the Midwest, 2.6 percent in the Northeast, and 1.2 percent in the South.

Property Crime

  • In the property crime category, offenses dropped 5.6 percent. Burglaries were down 11.1 percent, motor vehicle thefts decreased 6.7 percent, and larceny- thefts declined 4.2 percent.
  • The overall number of property crimes decreased in all city population groups. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 10,000 to 24,999 and those agencies in cities with under 10,000 inhabitants reported the largest decreases, 8.1 percent. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 1,000,000 and over reported the smallest decrease, 1.0 percent.
  • Property crime decreased 9.9 percent in nonmetropolitan counties and 7.0 percent in metropolitan counties.
  • Property crime decreased in all four regions of the nation. Reports of these offenses reflect declines of 7.3 percent in the Northeast and in the Midwest, 6.2 percent in the West, and 4.0 percent in the South.

Arson

In the UCR Program, arson offenses are collected separately from other property crimes.

  • The number of arson offenses decreased 12.5 percent in the first six months of 2019 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2018. All four of the nation’s regions reported decreases in the number of arsons. Arsons were down 15.5 percent in the Northeast, 13.8 percent in the Midwest, 12.7 percent in the West, and 10.3 percent in the South.
  • Arson offenses declined 18.5 percent in cities with populations under 10,000, the largest decrease within the city groupings. Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 experienced a 2.2 percent decrease in arson offenses. Arsons decreased 21.0 percent in metropolitan counties and 20.4 percent in nonmetropolitan counties.

Caution Against Ranking

When the FBI publishes crime data via its UCR Program, some entities use the information to compile rankings of cities and counties. Such rankings, however, do not provide insight into the numerous variables that shape crime in a given town, city, county, state, tribal area, or region. These rankings lead to simplistic and/or incomplete analyses that can create misleading perceptions that adversely affect communities and their residents. Only through careful study and analyses into the range of unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction can data users create valid assessments of crime. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population or student enrollment.

Read the complete Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June, 2019.

The preliminary data for the first six months of 2020 is scheduled to be released on the Crime Data Explorer in September 2020. For more details, see Recent Program Updates.