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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.

Published: 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.