Violent Crime Rates of 2015

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) define violent offenses as crimes that involve force or a threat thereof. Violent crimes are split into four classifications, and those are murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault – by descending order of violence.

Violent Crime Rates

Violent crimes peaked at 1.2 million in 2015, a rise of 3.9% from 2014, a 0.7% decrease from 2011, and a 16.5% drop since 2006. Of those 1.2 million, 63.8% were aggravated assaults, 27.3% were robberies, 7.5% were rape, and 1.3% were murder.

Out of every 100,000 inhabitants, 372.6 violent crimes occurred, which is a 3.1% rise from 2014’s rates of violent crime.

Classes of Violent Crimes

Murder & Nonnegligent Manslaughter
Murder Scene

Murder is the intentional (nonnegligent) killing of another human being. It is not to be confused with homicide, as homicides can sometimes be justified. Based on FBI findings, murders were responsible for 1.3% of violent crimes in 2015.

Last year (2015) saw 15,696 murders nationwide – a 10.8% rise from 2014’s data figures, a 7.1% rise from 2011, and a 9.3% decline over the past decade.

In 2015, there were 4.9 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. These murders are up by 10% from 2014’s figures, and 3.8% higher than 2011, yet still continues a trend of decline of 15.5% since 2006.


The UCR defines rape as the penetration of the vagina or anus with bodily or foreign objects – applicable also to oral penetration – by one person to another without the victim’s consent. This unlawful act accounted for 7.5% of violent crimes in 2015.

Worsened further since 2014 by 6.3%, there were 90,185 incidents of rape in 2015. This number is 7.1% greater than the 2011 figures and 4.5% less than the ones reported in 2006.

Of every 100,000 people, 38.6 rapes were committed in 2015.

Point Blank Range of a Robber

Whether by force or threats, robbery is the failed or successful attempt of taking another person’s property. 27.3% of 2015's violent crimes were caused by robberies.

The sum number of all the robberies committed in all states in 2015 were 327,374. This registered a 1.4% increase over the 2014 figure and a 7.7% decrease from 2011’s find. Moreover, the 2015 number of robberies was found to be 27.1% less than those of 2006.

In terms of every 100,000 people, the rate of robberies in 2015 reached 101.9, which is 0.6% higher than 2014’s rate, 12% lower than 2011, and 48.1% lower than those found in 2006.

The monetary losses caused by robberies amounted to $390 million – this is an average loss of $1,190 per incident.

Based on the weapon information retrieved by the FBI knives and cutters were used in 7.9% of robberies, 40.8% involved firearm, and 42.2% involved strong-arm tactics. 

Aggravated Assault

As defined by the UCR, aggravated assault is the unlawful intentional injuring of another person usually using a weapon. It was the most recurring violent crime in 2015, amounting to 63.8% of all crimes in that class.

Based on the 2015 FBI data, it was found that 764,449 aggravated assaults were committed nationwide. This was higher than 2014's figure by 4.6%, 2011's by 1.6%, and lower than 2006's find by 12.5%.

From 2006 to 2015, it was found that the rate dropped by 18.5% - from 292 per 100,000 to 237.8 per 100,000 people.

In terms of a physical threat, 18.1% of aggravated assaults were performed using knives and cutters, 24.2% used firearms, and 57.7% used personal and other weapons. 

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