According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation violent crimes in the United States increased in 2015. At 372.6 incidents per 100,000 people, the 2015 violent crime rate is higher than in 2014, which had a rate of 361.6 per 100,000 people. While there was a moderate increase in the number of violent crimes between 2014 and 2015 violent crimes are still well below the 1996 level of 636.6 per 100,000 people. The increase was most pronounced in big cities, the report found.
What are the Most Common Violent Crimes?
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, there were an estimated 1,197,704 violent crimes that occurred in the nation. While the violent crime rate rose slightly between 2014 and 2015, by 3.1 percent, the number of violent crimes was still significantly below previous years. The following are some of the most common violent crimes according to the FBI’s reports:
- Aggravated assault – aggravated assaults accounted fro a large percentage of all violent crimes in the United States, and in fact was the most commonly committed violent crime. In total aggravated assaults accounted for nearly 64 percent of all violent crimes reported in 2015.
- Robbery offenses – Robbery offenses accounted for 27 percent of all violent crimes in the United States in 2015. There were an estimated 327,374 robberies nationwide which represents a 1.4 increase from the total reported robberies in 2014. Nationwide robberies accounted for an estimated $390 million dollars in losses, with banks suffering the highest average of losses.
- Rape – Rape offenses also increased throughout the country, in part because of the enlarged definition of rape implemented by the FBI in 2013. Previously the FBI only documented rape that was “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” Beginning with the 2013 data year, the term “forcible” was removed from the offense title, and the definition was changed The revised UCR definition of rape is: penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. There were an estimated 90,185 rapes reported by the FBI which represents a 6.3 increase from the 2014 estimate.
- Murder – The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines murder and nonnegligent manslaughter as the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. In 2015 there were an estimated 15,696 murders throughout the United States. This was an increase from 2014 where there were an estimated 14,164 murders throughout the country. Despite a 10.8 percent increase in the number of murders, this number was still lower than the number of murders committed in 2006.
While the increasing numbers are concerning, there are still some positive points to take away from this data. Violent crime is still below the previous levels documented in 2006.
Where are Violent Crimes More Likely to Occur?
As part of their report, the FBI divided the nation based on geography to determine where violent crimes were more likely to occur. Below is a summation of their findings.
New England – Composed of the states of New England, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont had a total 42,089 violent crimes
Middle Atlantic – Composed of the states New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. There was a total of 138,383 violent crimes and there was a -0.9 decrease from 2014 levels.
East North Central – Composed of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin saw a slight 2.1 percent increase in the number of violent crimes with a total of 167,783 violent crimes.
West North Central – The west North Central region is composed of the states of Iowa Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This region saw a dramatic increase of 8.9 percent in the number of violent crimes reported for a total of 74,182.
South Atlantic – The South Atlantic region which is composed of Delaware, D.C Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia, saw a moderate 2.5 percent increase in the number of violent crimes to reach a total of 255,164.
East South Central – The East South Central region of the United States is composed of the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. In 2015 there was a 3.5 percent increase in the number of rapes, robberies, and assaults for a total of 81,282 violent crimes. This equates to a 3.5 percent increase in violent crimes from 2014.
West South Central – Composed of the states Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas this region joined several others with an increase in the number of violent crimes. A 3.9 percent increase in violent crimes in these states led to an estimated 170,467 violent crimes.
Mountain – The Mountain region of our country saw a dramatic increase in the number of violent crimes with a 7.4 percent increase from 2014. However, the Mountain states of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming only saw a total of 3,611 which is a much smaller number than other regions.
Pacific – The Pacific region of the United States including Alaska California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington also experienced an increase in the number of violent crimes by 7.8 percent to reach an estimated 207,338 violent crimes.
Out of all the regions in the United States, the south — being the most populated region in the nation – had the highest percentages of violent crimes in the United States. The South accounted for over 40 percent of all the violent crimes in the nation. The West earned the distinction of being the second largest contributor towards the violent crime count with a total of 24.5 percent of all violent crimes occurring in this region. The Midwest coincidentally fell in the middle of the pack and their violent crime ratio accounted for 19.6 percent of all the violent crimes. Finally, the Northwest – including New Jersey – had 14.7 percent of the violent crimes. In New Jersey, there were a total of 23,319 violent crimes committed in 2014 and 22,879 crimes committed in 2015, which is a change in 1.9 percent.
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