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Expert Brief

Preliminary Analysis of 2017 FBI Uniform Crime Report

According to the FBI, the overall crime rate fell 3.3 percent in 2017, in large part driven by continued declines in property crime. The murder rate declined by 1.45 percent nationally.

Published: September 24, 2018

On Monday, the FBI released its final analysis of “Crime in 2017,” as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting program. Below are some quick facts, based on a preliminary review of the data:

  • Overall Crime: The national crime rate fell 3.3% in 2017, in large part driven by continued declines in property crime. It marks the 16th consecutive year in which crime has declined. The crime rate for the 30 largest cities fell 1.1%, a decline in line with the Brennan Center’s June estimate that crime would fall by 2.1% in these cities.
  • Property Crime: The national property crime rate fell by nearly 4% in 2017, driven by a significant decline in burglary, and to a lesser extent, larceny. Those rates decreased by 8.2% and 2.9%, respectively.
  • Murder: Nationally, the murder rate fell by 1.45% in 2017 to 5.3 offenses per 100,000 people.1
    • The murder rate in America’s 30 largest cities fell 2.4%, also in line with the Brennan Center’s estimate that the murder rate in these cities would fall by 3.4%.
    • Declines were especially pronounced in the largest cities. In cities with populations over 1 million, murders decreased by 8.1%. In suburban areas — comprising more than a third of the country — murders dropped by 1.9%, essentially stabilizing.
    • The murder rate in Chicago fell 14.6%. There were 112 fewer killings in Chicago in 2017, which translates to a decrease of 14% from 2016.
  • Violent Crime: The violent crime rate declined 1.2% nationally in 2017, driven primarily by a 4.7% decrease in the robbery rate. The violent crime rate in the 30 largest cities fell 1%, matching the Brennan Center’s estimate.

Last week, the Brennan Center released a preliminary study of 2018 crime data from major American cities. It found the murder rate declining by 7.6 percent, and the crime rate declining by 2.9 percent in those cities.

Read the Brennan Center final estimate for 2017 released in June, here.

1Rates of change were calculated from unrounded figures.