The statistical overviews below represent a snapshot of recent findings about the status of crime in the United States. Data is drawn largely from two national, annual reports--the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)--which measure the scope, magnitude, and impact of crime in the United States.
The UCR compiles crimes known to law enforcement, including victims of all ages, while the NCVS is based on a large, national sample of Americans age 12 and older; the NCVS offers important insights into what criminologists call the “dark figure of crime,” or crimes that have not been reported. Criminologists compare, contrast, and analyze data from these two sources to identify and assess current crime trends in the United States. Taken as a whole, these studies represent a highly useful but nonetheless incomplete picture of crime in our nation.
Learn more about Interpreting Crime Statistics.
Also see our Get Help Bulletins for information on the consequences of victimization and resources available to help victims.