Crime rates

FAQ on Crime rate in the U.S. & the World

The fact is that criminal activities are not restricted to any particular country or continent. Rather, is spread the world over, with some regions experiencing more and others less. It has been acknowledged that America in current times does not witness more crimes when compared to other countries of the world. The citizens here simply seem to have more guns!

The recent shooting in U.S. similar to the mass murders committed before is definitely a subject of debate. Why gun murders are of high rates here and by far considered to be the highest among the developed nations of the world? Is there anything else that is occurring? Or could it be the cultural differences or income inequality that makes the U.S. much more prone towards crime?

The findings of the study conducted in 1997 revealed that the U.S. does witness crime, but much lesser than other developed countries. However, the crime committed here is quite lethal with American criminals killing people when compared to their counterparts belonging to other similar type of countries. Easy accessibility to guns is what actually makes this huge difference. Hence, crime exactly is not the problem faced in the U.S.

Firearm related homicides per one million people for 2012

  • 1.4 – Australia
  • 1.6 – New Zealand
  • 1.9 – Germany
  • 2.2 – Austria
  • 2.7 – Denmark
  • 3.3 – Netherlands
  • 4.1 – Sweden
  • 4.5 – Finland
  • 4.8 – Ireland
  • 5.1 – Canada
  • 6.2 – Luxembourg
  • 6.8 – Belgium
  • 7.7 – Switzerland
  • 29.7 – United States

According to the subject experts, common property crime rates in the U.S. are quite comparable when compared to the ones reported by other western nations. However, the U.S. does witness higher lethal violence rates. But violence cannot be termed to be a crime problem here. This opinion was reached by the experts after analyzing 20 developed nations with regards to rates of overall crime rates & violent death. No connection was found virtually between them, thereby indicating that violent death in the country was not exactly determined by overall crime levels.

  • England being among the countries with lowest death rate has crime rate just above average.
  • Japan is the next one with lowest crime rates.
  • The third one is Netherlands in this bracket.

The data compiled offers very clear example of the U.S. facing an issue of lethal violence, considered to be the main problem. Although the U.S. is clubbed with other developed industrial nations with regards to crime rate, when violent death is concerned, it is much higher. Rape and robbery rates are stated to be among the top reasons for high crime rates in this country. Presence of firearms even in less tense situations tends to become more deadly, as there is escalation of violence and resulting in killing.

Therefore, the conclusion is that guns are the real problem here in the U.S. and not criminality per-se!

How is crime rate calculated?

Crime rates tend to describe crimes that are reported periodically to the law enforcement agencies for 100,000 population. It is rather calculated with division of reported crime number by total population. Then the result availed is multiplied with 100,000. For instance, in California there were committed 58,100 robberies in 2010 and population was around 38,826,898. For 100,000 population, the robbery crime rate then stood at 149.6.

What are the different causes for crime to occur?

Crime does occur in every country across the globe. Although no clear reason is present for crimes to be committed, there are however, few factors which do attribute towards increasing crime rates. Areas or countries that experience low job availability and high poverty levels do witness higher crime rates. There is also found a strong correlation between crime and age. Majority of the crimes the world over, especially those that are violent in nature are committed by those in the age bracket of 20 to 30 years.

What country has the highest crime rate?

It is Venezuela that tops the list with 84.86. The reason is cited due to poor economic and political environment in this country. There take places violent crimes like kidnapping and murder, which is only increasing annually. This country also has the world’s 2nd highest murder rate.

The U.S. experiences crime rate of 46.73. However, the last 25 years has witnessed tremendous reduction in violent crime rates. Also, it tends to vary significantly between states. Tennessee & Alaska experience higher crime rates when compared to states like New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

Lower crime rates reported across the globe are in countries like Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand and Japan. They have in place effective law enforcement and stringent gun laws. Countries like Austria witness petty crimes like pick pocketing or purse snatching.

The top 10 countries in the world with the highest crime rates are:

  1. 84.86 – Venezuela
  2. 80.26 – Papua New Guinea
  3. 77.02 – South Africa
  4. 75.84 – Honduras
  5. 73.26 – Afghanistan
  6. 73.15 – Trinidad & Tobago
  7. 69.48 – Brazil
  8. 68.63 – El Salvador
  9. 68.14 – Namibia
  10. 66.91 – Syria

Has the crime rate increased?

Studies have revealed that there has been a significant decline in global homicide rates. The last three decades has witnessed parallel homicide reduction in many parts of the world. Despite there are unique cultures, systems of governance and criminal justice policies, countries in Europe, North America, Oceania and Asia have noticed sharp reduction in homicide by similar magnitudes across simile time periods.

Between the years 1990 & 2015, Western Europe and North America saw a sharp decline of homicide victim among 100,000 people by about 46%. Asia also saw reduction of around 38%, while Oceania with 22%.

Steepest reductions however, occurred in the world’s safest regions. Homicide rates fell much more in Western Europe and Asia that already had low homicide levels.

However, Latin America and Africa were found to be two major exceptions to this trend. Latin America since 1990s has been experience homicidal rate increase by 9%.

The possible causes for the decline still are to be understood by the social scientists. Law enforcement officials, scientists and policymakers are said to have come up with few explanations for the same. It includes receding drug markets, increased incarceration, innovations in policing, legalization of abortion, increased immigration and economic improvements.

What is the most dangerous city in the United States?

Violent crime rates in the U.S. cities, as per the FBI are decreasing. In 1997, the country’s overall average violent crime rate stood at about 611 for 100,000 people. Currently, this number has decreased to 300’s. But few cities here are still faced with higher than national average crime rates. The top 10 dangerous cities of the U.S. are given below:

  1. St. Louis, Missouri: Having average of 2,082.3 violent crime rate per 1,00,000 people, thus making it the United State’s most dangerous city. Crime has been increasing steadily in this city since 1990s. But there has been noticed slight decrease in crime rates in recent years. It also has the country’s highest murder rate with 66 homicides for 1,00,000 people. But this rate is definitely much behind the world’s most dangerous cities, with murder rates of 100+ per 1,00,000 people.
  2. Detroit, Michigan: It is considered to be United State’s 2nd most dangerous city with violent crimes of 2,056.7 per 1,00,000 people. Crimes that are commonly committed here are assault using deadly weapon, aggravated assault, armed robbery, rape, non-negligent manslaughter and murder. In recent years, crime in this city is showing decrease. Number of homicides and murders here are much lower than average in 2018 with 267 homicides.
  3. Baltimore, Maryland: Having 2,027 violent crime rate for 1,00,000 people, it is definitely the United State’s 3rd most dangerous city. Here, assault and robbery problems are witnessed more. Unfortunately, most crime reported here are linked with stubborn poverty rate and illegal drug trafficking. There is also high homicide rate with 55.7 per 1,00,000 people.
  4. Memphis, Tennessee: Occupying the 4th spot is Memphis in Tennessee, having 2,003 violent crimes for 1,00,000 people. Increasing unemployment combined with high poverty rate is considered to be the major contributing factor towards rise in crimes in this city.
  5. Kansas City, Missouri: It is the 2nd city in Missouri and 5th most dangerous city here in the United States. It has 1,654 violent crimes for 1,00,000 people. High violent crime rates are attributed partly to homicide rate, higher when compared to other cities similar in size. Its homicide rate is approximately 23.5 murders for 1,00,000 people, which is higher than 5 country average per 1,00,000 people.
  6. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: This city’s crime rate is much higher than national average. Although its rankings are lower for aggravated assaults, the other crime rates like rape, robbery and homicide are higher in average.
  7. Cleveland, Ohio: Ranked 7th dangerous city of the United States, it has 1556.8 crime rate incidences for 1,00,000 people. The crimes are mostly caused due to rampant poverty, high unemployment and urban decay.
  8. Stockton, California: It has 1,414 violent crimes per 1,00,000 people. Aggravated assault rates are much higher with 2,962 for 1,00,000 people.
  9. Albuquerque, New Mexico: It has reported violent crime rate which is regarded to be four times that of the national average. This city witnesses more property crimes. Although, the city’s inhabitants are just quarter of the total state population, the crime rates however, represent almost half of state total.
  10. Indianapolis, Indiana: Being Indiana’s largest state, has been witnessing significant increase in homicidal rates. Murder rate between the years 2012 & 2014 had increased by about 50%.

What is the safest country to live in?

There are many countries in the world that are safe to live in, as per the latest reports by Global Peace Index that carries out annual ranking  of safest countries in the world. The study however, reported the world currently experiencing 0.27% less peace in 2018 than the previous year. The top 10 safe country to reside in are as follows:

  1. Iceland: This Nordic nation has managed to rank higher at the safety index, which is 10th in a row. For number of people put in jail, homicides and terror acts, it scored very low points, thereby earning an overall of 1.096. There are hardly any border disputes as it is an island.
  2. New Zealand: Besides the stunning beach and adventure travel, it does boast of not witnessing internal violence or conflict, thereby scoring 1.192.
  3. Austria: This country  has scored 1.274 for ensuring consistent peaceful elections and low weapon imports although it has neighbors like the Czech Republic and Germany.
  4. Portugal: Lisbon is definitely among the most underrated of all Europe cities. Its beauty, affordability and safety score of about 1.318 is what makes this place of must reside.
  5. Denmark: It has been ranking consistently to be among the world’s happiest countries, with score of 1.353.
  6. Canada: Although being much larger in size when compared to its southern powerful neighbor, it scores 1.372 much higher when compared to the U.S. The friendly cities are also quite welcoming.
  7. Czech Republic: This country once considered to be home to Velvet Revolution has managed to score 1.381 for low military per capital spending and witnessing less violent crime.
  8. Singapore: This country has managed to jump to a higher spot from the 27 ranking in 2017 list to get into the top 10, with score of about 1.382. This island city state has been experiencing low scores in international and domestic conflict including societal safety.
  9. Japan: It reports low homicides and provides weapons in limited numbers.
  10. Republic of Ireland: It has an overall score of 1.393 and experiences low political terror and political instability as well as also faring well with U.N. peacekeeping funding.

What city has the most crime in the world?

Major drug cartels in splinter groups and street level gangs are cited to be the main reasons for high murder rates in many cities. They are engaged in kidnappings, urban turf battles, revenge killings and armed robberies. The most dangerous cities of the world are as follows:

  1. Tijuana, Mexico has 138 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  2. Acapulco, Mexico has 111 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  3. Caracas, Venezuela has 100 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  4. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico has 86 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  5. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico has 86 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  6. Irapuato, Mexico has 81 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  7. Ciudad Guyana, Venezuela has 78 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  8. Natal, Brazil has 75 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  9. Fortaleza, Brazil has 69 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.
  10. Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela has 69 homicides for 100,000 people in 2018.

What are crime rates based on?

There are several factors that has been influencing crime rate. Often, biological factors are stated to be the starting point to understand criminal behaviour. Some people are found to be predisposed psychologically to commit crime. But this does not exactly explain as to why there is a marked difference in different states, counties and cities. The truth is that no one has any sure answer for what exactly causes crime. Several factors however, were identified by researchers as to what may influence crime rates.

  • Job availability & poverty level: Poverty and crime are found to go hand in hand. If poverty exists in a community, then this community is likely to experience higher crime rates. But, poverty might not in itself cause higher crime rates. Rather, it can be the factors that are associated with it. The factors may include not able to go to quality schools, chronic joblessness, role models, perceived lacking in opportunities, employment, etc. Less advantaged people may get access to those goods which otherwise they were not able to enjoy by indulging in crime.
  • Age of population: A direct correlation has been found between age and crime rate. Most crimes are found to be committed by those in their teens, between 20’s & 30s, especially in areas with transient and young population. The young man’s crime however, is violence.
  • Social Morality level: Varying morality degrees are found in different communities and homes. Some communities and families tolerate and even encourage deviant behavior, while others correct and report even minor transgressions. The social environment and upbringing may shape their view about the world, thereby affecting their future decisions. People having experienced emotional, sexual or physical abuse are likely the ones who are may commit violent acts.
  • Police policy: Crime rate can be successfully reduced with tough sentences and adequately resourced police force. During the 1960s & 1970s, the U.S. experienced higher crime rates, prompting lawmakers to introduce tough-on-crime policies.

How do I know if a neighborhood is safe?

A safe neighbourhood is what every family will desire for to have peace of mind and happiness in life. But if the neighbourhood is a dangerous place, then the whole family is likely to live in fear and even suffer nervous breakdown. There are few ways given below, by which it is possible to know if the neighbourhood is safe:

  • Check National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW): The U.S. Dept. of Justice is known to maintain convicted sex offenders comprehensive database. This valuable tool can help determine the safety of any neighborhood in the region. Entering an address in the site will provide information on the sex offenders in the region.
  • Crime mapping service: There are services like Spot Crime & Crime Reports which gather crime and police reports. It can be used to find information on list of committed crimes within the vicinity, with complete breakdown of crime types and dates.
  • Check out homes put up for sale in the region: This can prove to be a great indicator to gain information on neighborhood safety. If there are homes in large numbers which are put up for sale, this will mean residents are trying to escape increasing crime in the region. At the same time, vacant homes also attract unwanted criminal elements and encourage gangs, prostitution and drug production.

Are UCR crime reports accurate?

The UCR program was initiated in 1929 and is FBI administered. It gathers information pertaining to crimes that are reported to the law enforcement authorities. It can be non-negligent manslaughter, murder, robbery, forcible rape, burglary, aggravated assault, arson, motor vehicle theft and burglary.

Data is compiled by the UCR program from individual crime incident or monthly law enforcement related reports. These are transmitted to the centralized state agencies reporting to the FBI or to the FBI directly. Each report received is evaluated thoroughly by the program for accuracy, reasonableness and deviations which might indicate errors.

However, crime levels if found in large variations is likely to indicate incomplete reporting, modified record procedures or changes made within jurisdiction’s boundaries. Monthly reports are also compared with previous agency submissions.

Even crime counts for entire nation is presented by the UCR program including states, regions, countries, tribal law enforcement, towns, cities, universities and colleges. It also allows studies to be conducted amongst neighbouring jurisdictions, with common characteristics and similar populations.

UCR offers measure of crime volume reported across the country to the law enforcement agencies. Supplementary Homicide Reports offers reliable timely data on nature and extent of Homicides committed in the country.

What are currently the two major sources of data on crime in the United States?

In the U.S., the two major sources of data on crime are UCR (Uniform Crime Reports) & NCVS (National Crime Victimization Surveys). The UCR is considered to be an official data created by the FBI on crime occurring in the U.S. It is a cooperative effort designed exclusively for the law enforcement agencies to follow all over the country to report about national crime statistics.

On the other hand, the NCVS is termed to be a national survey that is administered by the Justice Bureau. It is simply a crime report that Justice Statistics Bureau conducts by conducting surveys under U.S. States Census Bureau. Both the programs tend to measure similar subset of violent serious crimes. They cover motor vehicle theft, theft, burglary, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, etc. CWP

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