November 10, 2014

Crime Statistics for 2013 Released

Decrease in Violent Crimes and Property Crimes

A chart from the just-released Crime in the United States, 2013 publication shows the downward progression in the number of reported violent crimes over the past five years.

The FBI released Crime in the United States, 2013 today, which shows that the estimated number of violent crimes in 2013 decreased 4.4 percent when compared with 2012 figures, and the estimated number of property crimes decreased 4.1 percent. There were an estimated 1,163,146 violent crimes reported to law enforcement last year, along with an estimated 8,632,512 property crimes.

The crime statistics report, issued by the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, contains voluntarily submitted data from 18,415 city, county, state, tribal, campus, and federal law enforcement agencies on specific crimes brought to their attention. They include the violent crimes of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Property Crime 2013 chartThe primary goals of Crime in the United States? To assess and monitor the nature and type of crime in the nation and to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operations, and management. The data has also been used by criminologists, sociologists, legislators, municipal planners, the media, and other students of criminal justice for research and planning purposes.

But a word of caution: Don’t draw conclusions from the report by making direct comparisons between cities. Valid assessments are only possible with an understanding of various factors affecting each jurisdiction. For more details, read the UCR Statistics: Their Proper Use section.

Beginning in 2013, the UCR Program began collecting rape data under a revised definition. However, not all law enforcement agencies have been able to convert their records management systems to reflect the new definition yet, so this year’s report includes data collected under the previous (or legacy) definition as well as the revised definition. Footnotes for tables in the report indicate which definition of rape is being used. For more information, read the report’s Rape Addendum.

Here are some quick highlights from Crime in the United States, 2013:

  • During 2013, law enforcement made an estimated 11,302,102 arrests (including 480,360 for violent crimes and 1,559,284 for property crimes). The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations (estimated at 1,501,043), larceny-theft (estimated at 1,231,580), and driving under the influence (estimated at 1,166,824).
  • There were an estimated 14,196 murders last year.
  • Aggravated assaults (an estimated 724,149 last year) accounted for the largest percentage of violent crimes reported to law enforcement—62.3 percent.
  • Firearms were used in 69 percent of the nation’s murders, 40 percent of robberies, and 21.6 percent of aggravated assaults (weapons data is not collected on rape incidents).
  • There were an estimated 79,770 rapes (legacy definition) reported to law enforcement.
  • Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.5 billion in property losses, and burglaries of residential properties accounted for 74 percent of the total reported.
  • Larceny-thefts accounted for the largest percentage of property crimes reported to law enforcement—69.6 percent. (The average value of property taken during larceny-thefts was $1,259.)
  • During 2013, an estimated 699,594 motor vehicles were reported stolen, and 73.9 percent of those were cars. (Other types of stolen vehicles included trucks, sport utility vehicles, buses, motorcycles, motor scooters, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles).

UCR publications scheduled for release within the next couple of months include Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2013; Hate Crimes Statistics, 2013; and National Incident-Based Reporting System, 2013.

- Crime in the United States, 2013
- Press release
- FBI, This Week podcast