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Violent crime fell 1.9 percent in '08, FBI says

  • Story Highlights
  • South had highest rate of violent crime; Northeast had lowest, report says
  • Racial minorities were disproportionately victims of some of most violent crimes
  • Property crimes declined for the sixth straight year, but burglaries rose by 2 percent
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Violent crime dropped for the second year in a row in 2008, according to an annual FBI crime report released Monday.

The FBI's annual crime report is based on statistics provided by almost 18,000 law enforcement agencies.

The FBI's annual crime report is based on statistics provided by almost 18,000 law enforcement agencies.

The total number of violent crimes nationwide dropped 1.9 percent compared with 2007, the FBI reported. Murders and non-negligent manslaughters declined 3.9 percent, aggravated assaults dropped 2.5 percent, and forcible rapes fell by 1.6 percent.

The 89,000 estimated forcible rapes in 2008 was the lowest reported total in 20 years.

Racial minorities suffered disproportionately as victims of some of the most violent crimes. Almost half of the country's 14,000 murder victims, for example, were African-American.

Blacks make up roughly 13 percent of the nation's total population, according to the U.S. Census.

Property crimes declined for the sixth straight year, due to a 12.7 percent drop in motor vehicle thefts, according to the report. Losses from property crimes in exceeded $17 billion.

Burglaries, however, rose by 2 percent, according to the report.

The South had the highest rate of violent crime in 2008, while the Northeast had the lowest.

Nationwide, law enforcement agencies made more than 14 million arrests in 2008. The highest number of arrests were for drug abuse violations, according to the report. There were over 1.7 million estimated arrests relating to drug abuse, and another 1.4 million tied to driving while intoxicated.

Roughly three out of every four people arrested in 2008 were male, while almost seven in 10 were white, according to the report. Men make up slightly less than half of the country's population, and whites account for slightly less than 70 percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census.

The FBI's annual "Crime in the United States" report is based on statistics provided by almost 18,000 law enforcement agencies.

A separate annual report on prevalence of hate crimes -- offenses motivated by bias against an individual's race, religion, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation -- is scheduled to be released in November.

All About CrimeFederal Bureau of Investigation

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