Press Release

For Immediate Release
June 6, 2005

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Preliminary Crime Statistics for 2004

Washington, D.C. -- Preliminary offense data reported to the Nation's law enforcement in all categories of violent and property crimes indicated a decline in 2004 compared to data from 2003, according to data from the FBI's Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report. Overall, violent crimes in the Nation decreased 1.7 percent in 2004 when compared to 2003 data, and property crimes fell 1.8 percent in 2004 compared to the crimes reported the previous year.

These preliminary data were collected from 12,715 law enforcement agencies that submitted 6 to 12 months of offense data to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services Division's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program in both 2003 and 2004.

Violent Crime

Offenses that the UCR Program collects in the violent crime category include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Preliminary data for 2004 show that, nationally, murder and non-negligent manslaughter were down 3.6 percent from figures in 2003. Robbery also decreased 3.6 percent from the previous year's number, reports of aggravated assault declined 0.8 percent, and the number of reported forcible rapes was down
0.3 percent.

The Nation's largest cities, those with 1 million and more inhabitants, had the largest decrease (-5.4 percent) of reported violent crimes among all population groups. Cities with populations ranging from 250,000 to 499,999 persons experienced the largest increase in violent crime with a 1.3-percent increase from 2003 figures. Violent crime reported to law enforcement in the Nation's metropolitan counties was down 2.1 percent. Non-metropolitan counties saw a slight increase in violent crime (+0.7 percent).

Cities under 10,000 in population saw the greatest decrease in murder (-12.2 percent) when compared with the prior year's data. Only two city population groups saw increases in murder in 2004: those cities with populations of 25,000 to 49,999 (+1.7 percent) and those with populations from 10,000 to 24,999 (+0.8 percent). In metropolitan counties, murder was up 2.2 percent; however, in non-metropolitan counties, murder dropped 3.1 percent.

All four of the Nation's regions showed decreases in violent crime in 2004. The Northeast region showed the greatest decline in violent crimes at 2.6 percent. Law enforcement agencies in the West combined for a 2.0-percent drop; those in the Midwest, a 1.5-percent decrease; and in the South, a 1.2-percent decline. Murder decreased in three of the four regions from 2003 data. The South showed a 5.5-percent drop in murder; the Midwest, a 4.8-percent decline; and the Northeast, a 3.1-percent decrease. Murder was up 0.4 percent in the West.

Property Crime

Offenses that the UCR Program collects within the property crime category are burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. (Arson is considered a property crime, but the arson data are not included in the property crime total.) In the Nation, the number of reported motor vehicle thefts fell 2.6 percent in 2004 when compared to data from 2003. Larceny-theft decreased 1.8 percent, and burglary declined 1.4 percent over the two-year period. Arson decreased 6.8 percent.

Property crime declined in all city population groups. As a group, cities with populations from 250,000 to 499,999 inhabitants saw the greatest decrease in property crime, a drop of 4.2 percent, and cities from 10,000 to 24,999 had the smallest decrease at 0.3 percent.

Cities with populations from 500,000 to 999,999, collectively, showed the greatest decrease in burglaries, 2.9 percent. Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 showed the greatest decline in both larceny-theft (-4.2 percent) and motor vehicle theft (-6.6 percent). The Nation's largest cities, 1 million and over in population, and cities with 100,000 to 249,999 inhabitants had the greatest decrease in arson at 11.8 percent. The only city groups to show increases in a property crime category were those cities with populations from 50,000 to 99,999 with a 2.0-percent rise in burglaries and those cities with populations from 10,000 to 24,999 with a 0.2-percent increase also in burglaries.

In 2004, in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties, overall reported property crime indicated a decrease of 1.5 percent. In volume, the lone increase in the property crime category among the county groups was a 0.6-percent increase in motor vehicle thefts in non-metropolitan counties.

Overall, property crime decreased in three of the four regions in 2004. In the Midwest, property crime was down 3.5 percent. In the Northeast, property crime fell 2.5 percent, and in the South, reports of those crimes declined 2.0 percent. In the West, property crime remained virtually unchanged from the 2003 number. The only increases in the individual property crimes occurred in the West, where burglary was up 0.9 percent and motor vehicle thefts rose 2.6 percent.

Final crime statistics for 2004 will be available in the fall with the publication of Crime in the United States, 2004.


The complete Preliminary Annual Uniform Crime Report is available at the FBI's Internet site at <>.