Crime Statistics for 2003 (pdf)
D.C.-- According to data released today in the FBI’s
Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report, despite
an increase in murder, the Nation’s violent
crime declined 3.2 percent in 2003 as compared to
the data reported in 2002. Property crime remained
relatively unchanged from the 2002 figure, showing
a 0.1-percent decrease.
The preliminary annual report is based upon information
from law enforcement agencies that provided the
FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program
with 6 to12 months of data in both 2002 and 2003.
In total, 11,921 agencies met the criteria to be
included in the preliminary report.
order to gauge the level and types of violent acts
occurring across the Nation, the UCR Program tracks
the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter,
forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault;
collectively, these offenses form the violent crime
category. A comparison of current data to those
from 2002 indicates a decline in such crimes nationally.
Among the violent offenses, only murder showed an
increase during 2003, rising 1.3 percent from the
previous year. Of those violent crimes that showed
declines, aggravated assault had the largest drop
at 4.1 percent; forcible rape and robbery each declined
1.9 percent from the prior year’s data.
national trend toward fewer violent crimes was reflected
in the Nation’s cities, particularly those
cities with more than 1 million inhabitants, which
had a 6.5-percent reduction in violent crime compared
to the 2002 statistics. Among all cities, only those
with populations in the range of 50,000 to 99,999
reported any increase (0.7 percent).
the decline in violent offenses overall, all city
population groupings reported increases in the offense
of murder. The rise was led by a 15.7-percent increase
in homicides occurring in the smallest U.S. cities
(those with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants) and a
10.8-percent rise in cities with populations in
the 10,000–24,999 range. Cities with 1 million
or more inhabitants had an increase in murder of
0.2 percent during the time period.
metropolitan (suburban) counties, the occurrence
of violent crime remained virtually unchanged from
the previous year, and nonmetropolitan (rural) counties
4.2-percent drop from the 2002 data. Homicides also
declined in both nonmetropolitan and metropolitan
counties by 6.5 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.
The decline in violent crime occurred throughout
all four regions of the United States. The Midwest
region experienced the steepest decline—a
7.0-percent decrease from 2002 data. The Northeast
had a 3.2-percent reduction from the previous year’s
violent crime; the South, a 2.7-percent decrease;
and the West, a 1.2-percent decrease. Three of the
four regions, however, registered increases in murder
from the 2002 data: the Northeast, 5.1 percent;
2.8 percent; and the West, 1.8 percent. The Midwest
had the only decrease, 4.7 percent, from the 2002
UCR Program collects data on the crimes of burglary,
larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft to measure
the level of crimes occurring in the Nation that
involve loss of property; taken together, these
offenses comprise the property crime category. For
2003, the data indicated a slight decline, 0.1 percent,
in overall property crime offenses compared to the
prior year’s data. The decreases seen in larceny-theft
(0.5 percent) were offset by increases in burglary
(0.4 percent) and motor vehicle theft (1.4 percent).
the population groups, the property crime data were
mixed: cities having 250,000–499,999 inhabitants
showed a 3.4-percent decrease, and those with 1
million or more inhabitants showed a 0.8-percent
decline; all other city groupings registered modest
(1 percent or less). Collectively, metropolitan
counties experienced a 1.0-percent rise in property
crimes; data from nonmetropolitan counties were
virtually unchanged from those reported in 2002.
region, both the Northeastern states and those in
the Midwest reported decreases in property crimes,
2.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively. These
declines were offset by increases of 1.9 percent
in the West and 0.5 percent in the South.
incidence of arson, which is not included in the
property crime category, decreased 6.9 percent nationally.
All four regions of the country reported decreases
in arson when comparing the 2002 and 2003 data.
The largest decline was 11.1 percent in the Northeast,
followed by a 10.1-percent drop in the Midwest.
The South had a 6.3-percent decline for the offense
of arson, and the West had a 3.6-percent decline.
crime statistics for 2003 will be available in the
fall with the publication of Crime in the United
complete Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report
is available at the FBI’s Internet site at