What Is the Crime Rate Per Capita?
- Every year, the FBI collects crime data from about 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. The agency then uses those crime reports to calculate the crime rate per capita.
- The FBI has been collecting crime rate statistics for use by law enforcement officials since 1930. The statistics are widely distributed to cities, states and other entities.
- The crime rate per capita changes yearly. The FBI's reports are published on the agency's website (fbi.gov), where you can search by city or by state and compare the current year against the year before.
- For example, in cities of over one million residents, the violent crime rate went down 7 percent between 2008 and 2009. The reports separate different types of crimes such as murder, rape and property crimes.
- The FBI reports also show a difference in per capita crime rates among regions of the country. For example, between 2008 and 2009, the violent crime rate in the South went down by 6.1 percent but only by 3.3 percent in the West.