Skip Navigation
Press Release

FBI Numbers for 2018 Show Declines in U.S. Rates of Murder, Violent Crime, and Overall Crime

The FBI today released its 2018 Uniform Crime Reporting program data, and it shows that U.S. rates of murder, violent crime, and overall crime decreased last year.

September 30, 2019
Contact: Rebecca Autrey, Media Contact, rebecca.autrey@nyu.edu, 202-753-5904

New York, N.Y. – The FBI today released its 2018 Uniform Crime Reporting program data, and it shows that U.S. rates of murder, violent crime, and overall crime decreased last year. Ames Grawert, senior counsel in the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and co-author of an analysis of the new numbers, issued the following statement:

“The FBI’s data confirm that crime rates are continuing to decline across the country, which is great news. It’s consistent with trends first observed in Brennan Center crime analyses studying America’s largest cities. This downward national trend has lasted more than a quarter century.

“The FBI data also show that crime rates in some cities have not improved as quickly as we would hope. Policymakers and advocates need to develop innovative solutions to help those cities share in the national trend toward greater safety. And these strategies must not be guided by the overly punitive approaches that helped drive mass incarceration across America.”

The FBI reported that the overall crime rate in 2018 – which includes the rates of property crime and violent crime – fell by 6.5 percent. Property crime dropped by roughly 7 percent, and violent crime dropped by 3.9 percent. Last year marks the seventeenth consecutive year in which both the overall crime rate and the property crime rate have declined. Violent crime and murder rose in 2015 and 2016 but have significantly receded since.

The rate of rape offenses rose by 2.1 percent in 2018. The Brennan Center notes in its analysis that this increase is unlikely to reflect only an increase in reporting, since the 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey released earlier this month also found that rape offenses increased.

To read the Brennan Center’s analysis of the FBI crime data released today, click here. To see the Center’s final analysis of 2018 crime rates based on available data from America’s 30 largest cities, click here.

For more information or to connect with a Brennan Center expert, contact Rebecca Autrey at rebecca.autrey@nyu.edu and 202-753-5904.