Preliminary Analysis of 2015 FBI Uniform Crime Report

The overall crime rate dropped by around 2.6 percent, decreasing for the 14th year in a row, driven by decreases in property crimes. Consistent with recent studies, the UCR shows that the murder rate rose 10 percent in 2015.

September 26, 2016

This morning, the FBI released its final analysis of “Crime in 2015” as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting program. Below are some quick facts, based on our preliminary review of the data:

  • Overall Crime: The overall crime rate dropped by 2.6 percent, decreasing for the fourteenth year in a row, driven by decreases in property crimes.
  • Property Crime: The property crime rate also fell for the fourteenth year in a row, dropping more than 3 percent.
  • Murder: Consistent with recent studies, the UCR shows that the murder rate rose 10 percent in 2015. This rate is similar to that of 2010. This murder increase seems to be driven by specific pockets of the country.
    • Just four cities accounted for 20 percent of the murder increase: Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Washington, D.C. These cities make up just over one percent of the total population.
    • Cities accounted for more than 4 out of 5 new murders.
    • Firearms drove the murder increase. In fact, non-firearm murders fell in 2015.
  • Violent Crime. The violent crime rate rose 3 percent. The Midwest, South, and West saw increases, while violence fell in the Northeast.

A Brennan Center analysis of crime in the 30 largest cities in 2015 found similar results: overall crime remained the same (down 0.1 percent); violent crime rose 3.1 percent; and murder rose 13.2 percent, with half of that increase attributable to Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.