Crime Stats 2020 – A Year of Crime in Review

As 2020 has come to a close and we move into 2021, we are beginning to see data coming in for various areas. One of these topics includes the crime rates for the country. Though we may not have the crime stats for the entire year, we can still breakdown the information from the FBI’s Preliminary Quarterly Uniform Crime Reports. These reports include preliminary information from over 12,000 law enforcement agencies collected throughout the year.

Violent Crime Stats

Violent crimes typically involve force or the threat of force and are composed of four offenses: homicide (murder), rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Overall, in the United States, it has been reported that there was a 0.4% decrease in these types of crimes. Other significant items include:

  • The only region that has shown an increase in violent crimes compared to 2019 was the South, with a 2.5% increase.
  • Cities with a population under 10,000 saw the greatest decrease, 7.2%, while cities with a population of over 1,000,000 saw the greatest increase, which was 2.3%.
  • Rape and robbery cases saw an overall decrease throughout the country. With rape showing a 17.8% decrease and robberies a 7.1% decrease.
  • Murder cases saw the most significant increase at 4.8%, while aggravated assault cases were close behind with a 4.6% increase.
  • The Northeast was the only region to see a percentage decrease, 1.8%.

Property Crime Stats

Property crimes involve the theft or destruction of someone’s property. Offenses in this category include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. In the United States, law enforcement agencies have reported an overall decrease of 7.8% throughout the country for property crimes. Other significant property crime stats include:

  • Property crime cases decreased for every population and region category. The Midwest showed the greatest decrease by region at 10.3%, while cities under 10,000 had the greatest decrease by population size at 14.2%.
  • Arson and motor vehicle theft were the only categories to show percentage increases. Arson cases had the greatest increase at 19.2%.
  • Burglary and larceny cases have both decreased compared to the previous year. Larceny had the greatest percentage decrease at 9.9%, while burglary cases decreased by 7.8%.
  • Burglary cases decreased in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, at 12.8% and 12%, respectively.

What Does it Mean?

At the time of writing, the data shows that there have been decreases in violent and property crimes compared to 2019. Unfortunately, we have to wait until March to see the fully updated data for the entire 2020 year.

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