Violent Crime

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In the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses which involve force or threat of force.

Data collection

The data presented in Crime in the United States reflect the Hierarchy Rule, which requires that only the most serious offense in a multiple-offense criminal incident be counted. The descending order of UCR violent crimes are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, followed by the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. The Hierarchy Rule does not apply to the offense of arson.


  • An estimated 1,382,012 violent crimes occurred nationwide in 2008, showing a decrease of 1.9 percent from the 2007 estimate.
  • The 2008 estimated violent crime total was 1.6 percent above the 2004 level but 3.1 percent below the 1999 level.
  • There were an estimated 454.5 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008.
  • Aggravated assaults accounted for 60.4 percent of violent crimes, the highest number of violent crimes reported to law enforcement. Robbery comprised 32.0 percent of violent crimes, forcible rape accounted for 6.4 percent, and murder accounted for 1.2 percent of estimated violent crimes in 2008.
  • In 2008, offenders used firearms in 66.9 percent of the Nation’s murders, 43.5 percent of robberies, and 21.4 percent of aggravated assaults. (Weapon data are not collected for forcible rape offenses.) (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 7, Robbery Table 3, and Aggravated Assault Table.)
Violent Crime in 2008 Chart

What you won't find on this page

Clearance and arrest data for violent crime.