Report 16: National Violent Crime Statics and Trends

The FBI publishes the annual Uniform Crime Report ( to keep us informed about what is going on with crime in the US. It would be impossible to summarize this report in just a couple of pages. However, I have been able to pull out some significant facts from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. You might find them interesting. Of course, you know that I just have to put in my two cents worth (OK, my 25 cents worth).

The latest statistics available are for trends comparing 2012 and 2013.

  • The overall rate of violent crime victimization rate per 1,000 persons dropped from 26.1 in 2012 to 23.2 in 2012.
  • There was no significant decrease in serious violent crime which includes the crimes of rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. This rate has stayed around 7.3 per 1,000 persons.
  • There was also no significant change in the rates of domestic violence, intimate partner violence, violence resulting in an injury, or violence involving a firearm.
  • Property crime decreased from 155.8 per 1,000 households in 2012 to 131.4 per 1,000 households in 2013.
  • In 2013, 1.2% of all persons age 12 or older (3million persons) experienced at least one violent victimization. Included in that statistic is that about 0.4% (1.1 million persons) experienced at least one serious violent victimization.

While the percentages tend to minimize the incidence of violent crime the sheer numbers should be a fairly stark realization. (Dan’s comment)

When looking at homicide rates the latest statistics available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics listed trends from 1992 to 2011. (Note: the rates for homicide are noted per 100,000 persons as opposed to 1,000 persons as used for violent crime)

  • The U.S. homicide rate declined by nearly half (49%), from 9.3 homicides per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1992 to 4.7 in 2011, falling to the lowest level since 1963. From 2002 to 2011, the average homicide rate for males was 3.6 times higher than the rate for females. The average homicide rate for blacks was 6.3 times higher than the rate for whites.
  • From 2002 to 2011, young adults ages 18 to 24 had the highest homicide rate of any age group and experienced the greatest rate decline (down 22%) over the 10-year period, from 15.2 per 100,000 in 2002 to 11.9 in 2011.
  • The rate of homicides involving a firearm decreased by 49% from 1992 to 2011, while the percentage of homicide victims killed by a firearm (67%) remained stable.
  • Large cities of 100,000 or more residents experienced the largest decline (23%) in homicide rates from 2002 to 2011, compared to communities with less than 100,000 residents.
  • From 2002 to 2011, the majority (95%) of homicide incidents involved a single victim. In 2011, 66% of homicides with a single victim involved a firearm, compared to 79% of homicide incidents with multiple victims.

The above statistics are quoted from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Dan’s comments:

While the Bureau of Justice Statistics does not delineate the cause for the decline in crime rates, Dr. John Lott, Jr., in his book More Guns, Less Crime, makes an in-depth study of the effects of right-to-carry laws on various types of crime. All of his studies rate crime numbers per 100,000 people. For instance, 10 years before the adoption of right-to-carry laws, the national murder rate was 6.3. 15 years after the adoption of these laws the murder rate was in the area of 4.6. 10 years before the adoption of right-to-carry laws the rape rate was 38 per 100,000 persons. 15 years after the adoption of these laws began the rate was 35.5, with the low of 33. (No specific dates were quoted in the statistical charts referenced in the book. Therefore there is a difference in some of the crime rates quoted in the book from the crime rates quoted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.)

While Dr. Lott’s work concentrates on the effects of civilians owning and training on guns for personal protection, numerous studies have pointed out that a person’s attitude of awareness plays a major role in keeping them safe.

A bad guy is much less likely to attack someone when that potential victim looks confident (aware) and just may be carrying a gun.

The Refuse To Be A Victim seminar is an excellent adjunct to other types of training a person may acquire to ward off potential attackers.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

More Guns, Less Crime, Third Edition: Dr. John Lott, Jr., 2010, University of Chicago Press, Chicago