Washington, D.C.
FBI National Press Office
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September 15, 2020

Overview of Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, January–June, 2020

The FBI’s Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, January–June, 2020, reveals overall declines in the number of violent crimes and property crimes reported for the first six months of 2020 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2019. The report is based on information from 12,206 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

  • When data from the first six months of 2020 were compared with data from the first six months of 2019, the number of rape offenses decreased 17.8%, and robbery offenses were down 7.1%. The number of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 14.8%, and aggravated assault offenses were up 4.6%.
  • The overall number of violent crimes decreased in four city population groups. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of less than 10,000 reported the largest decrease, 7.2%. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 100,000 to 249,000 reported the smallest decrease, 0.3%.
  • Violent crime decreased in three of the four regions of the nation. These crimes were down 4.8% in the Northeast, 1.8% in the Midwest, and 1.1% in the West. However, violent crime increased in the South, 2.5%.

Property Crime

  • In the property crime category, offenses declined 7.8%. Larceny thefts were down 9.9%, and burglaries decreased 7.8%. Motor vehicle thefts increased 6.2%.
  • The overall number of property crimes decreased in all city population groups. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations under 10,000 inhabitants reported the largest decrease, 14.2%. Law enforcement agencies in cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 reported the smallest decrease, 3.7%.
  • Property crime decreased 9.3% in nonmetropolitan counties and 7.3% in metropolitan counties.
  • Property crime decreased in all four regions of the nation. Reports of these offenses reflected declines of 10.3% in the Midwest, 9.3% in the South, 5.7% in the Northeast, and 5.3% in the West.

Arson

In the FBI’s UCR Program, arson offenses are collected separately from other property crimes. The number of arson offenses increased 19.2% in the first six months of 2020 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2019. All four regions reported increases in the number of arsons. Arsons were up 28.0% in the West, 16.4% in the Northeast, 15.7% in the Midwest, and 10.2% in the South.

Arson offenses rose 52.1% in cities with populations of 1,000,000 and over. Cities with populations under 10,000 experienced a 5.7% increase in arson offenses. Arsons increased 13.7% in nonmetropolitan counties and 11.6% in metropolitan 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 state, county, city, town, 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 states, metropolitan areas, cities, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population or student enrollment.

View the complete Preliminary Uniform Crime Report, January–June, 2020 on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer.

For more details, see Recent Program Updates.