The nation’s violent crime rate dropped 19.3 to 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons last year the Justice Department reported today in the annual crime victimization survey. Near the height of the modern-day high crime rates in the U.S., the figure was 51.2 victimizations per person in 1994. The property crime rate dropped last year from 134.7 to 127.4 crimes per 1,000 households, primarily as a result of a decrease in theft. The rate was 553.6 crimes per 1,000 households in 1975.
In 2009, an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes (rapes or sexual assaults, robberies, aggravated assaults and simple assaults) occurred, as well as an estimated 15.6 million property crimes (burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and household thefts). These totals included both crimes reported and unreported to police. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, which include only reported crimes, gave totals of 1.3 million violent crimes and 9.3 million property crimes for last year. Violent and property crime rates in 2009 as measured by the victimication survey remain at the lowest levels recorded since 1973, the first year that such data were collected. The overall violent crime rate fell 39 percent and the property crime rate declined by 29 percent during the last 10 years. Between 2000 and 2009, the rate of firearm violence declined from 2.4 incidents per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 1.4 per 1,000 persons.