U.S. Crime Trends - How the U.S. Economy Affects Violent and Property Crime Rates

Home Security Expert Jordan Frankel Discusses the Effects of the Economy on Residential & Violent Crime Rates

Violent and property crimes occur across the United States every day. But some years are worse than others. Even when the national crime rates show a downward trend, certain cities across America can experience significant increases during the same time period. Many experts associate our country's crime trends with the state of the U.S. economy. Understanding this correlation is an important aspect of home security—especially now that violent crime is on the rise.

U.S. Crime Trends

The nature and incidence of crime varies significantly from one city to the next. One of the driving forces behind these differences is the city's economic state. The average income, job availability, and poverty level of a city's population plays a major role in the occurrence of crime. Other factors that affect crime trends include the density and composition of a city's population and the amount of urbanization in the area. A city's law enforcement and public education resources can also have an effect on crime.

In looking at the crime trends across the U.S. over the past decade, it is easy to see the effect that the U.S. economy has on property and violent crime rates. Though this effect cannot always be seen in the national numbers, it is prevalent at the state and city levels.

For example, since the turn of the 21st century, both violent and property crimes have continued to decrease, with the only increase experienced in 2006 and 2012, when violent crime rose by 1.9% and 0.7% respectively. Between 2007 and 2009, the U.S. experienced what has come to be known as the Great Recession. Despite the decrease in the national crime rates, the violent and property crime rates among heavily populated and poverty-ridden cities such as Boston, Detroit, Chicago, and others significantly exceeded the national average.

In 2015, the U.S. experienced the largest increase in violent crime since the early 1990s. In addition, we have also seen an increase in our very own homegrown terrorism—a growing threat to our communities . According to the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCAA), this upward trend in violent crime has continued in 2016, and with the economy once again showing signs of turmoil, some experts are predicting things will get worse before they get better.

Violent and Property Crime Rates in America

Each year the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collects data on the incidence of crimes committed throughout the United States. Such data is compiled from over 16,000 U.S. federal, state, county, and city agencies, including tribal, university, and college institutions. The most recent crime statistics available can be found in the FBI's publication Crime in the United States (CIUS). The following is a summary of the violent and property crime data from their 2015 report.

Violent Crimes in 2015

  • There were approximately 1,197,704 violent crimes reported nationwide. This reflects an increase of approximately 4% compared to 2014.
  • Murders and non-negligent manslaughters increased by approximately 11% compared to 2014.
  • There was an increase in rapes (up 6.3%), aggravated assaults (up 4.6%), and robbery (up 1.4%) compared to 2014.
  • A firearm was used in over 71% of murders, 41% of robberies, and 24% of aggravated assaults

Property Crimes in 2015

  • There were approximately 7,993,631 property crimes reported nationwide.
  • Compared to 2014, burglaries decreased by 7.8%, motor vehicle thefts rose by 3.1%, and larceny thefts dropped by almost 2%.
  • Property crime victims suffered over $14 billion in losses over the course of 2015.

In looking at the decline in property crimes, it's important to note how home invasions factor into the equation. Like burglaries, home invasions often involve theft of a resident's property. However, home invasions are not categorized as property crimes. A home invasion is considered a type of burglary and falls under the violent crime category. Home invasions occur when the resident is home and often involve violence in the form of assault and battery, rape, and even murder. As the above statistics show, all of these violent crimes are on the rise. This combined with the FBI's report of there being an average of only 3 law enforcement employees per 1,000 residents makes home security all the more important for you and your family.

As Crime Rates Rise, So Does Your Risk

As a resident, it is important to understand the increasing crime trends across America and how they relate to your community. It is also important to learn about home security, because as violent and property crimes rise, so does your risk for falling victim to a burglary or worse—a violent home invasion.

Global Security Experts, Inc. is an excellent source for learning how to protect against property and violent crimes, and the devices you need to keep intruders out of your home.


1. Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2016). Crime in the United States: 2015. Retrieved from https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/table-4

2. Major Cities Chiefs Association. (2016). Violent crime survey: Midyear comparison between 2016 and 2015. Retrieved from https://www.majorcitieschiefs.com/pdf/news/mcca_violent_crime_data_midyear_20162015.pdf