- Crime in America's Top 10 Most Populous Cities
Crime in America's Top 10 Most Populous Cities
How are crime rates and types represented appropriately when comparing major metropolitan cities?
With the country's biggest cities differing dramatically in geography, housing, transportation and policies, the ability to compare and contrast data from each city allows citizens, academics, journalists and researchers alike to figure out which measures to fight crime and improve public safety have worked and which ones haven't.
The visualizations below give a high-level view of crime rates and types throughout the most populated cities in the US, sorted into two categories: Violent crime (Go to Dataset) and property crime (Go to Dataset).
All of the data on this page has sourced from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, 2014.
Violent Crime Data for the Ten Most Populous Cities in the U.S.
Property Crime Data for the Ten Most Populous Cities in the U.S.
Breaking Down the Proportions of Each Crime Within the Four Most Populous Cities: NYC, LA, Chicago and Houston
America's metropolises can learn from on successful policing tactics and public safety campaigns. Some methods and crime reduction strategies can set best-practices for large cities as a whole. Others will remain unique to the character of the city, the layout, people and culture.
By comparing and contrasting the proportions of violent crimes and property crimes in each big city, citizens, law enforcement officials and local policy-makers can make better informed decisions about where to allocate resources, funding, staff assistance and community organizing.
- New York has the highest proportion of aggravated assaults among the four cities compared in these graphs.
- It also has the lowest proportions of murder and non-negligent manslaughters as well as robberies.
- Burglaries and motor vehicle thefts are the lowest ratio compared to Chicago, Houston and L.A. This may be because many New Yorkers inhabit apartments and are less likely to own cars.
- New York’s crime rates are low compared to peer cities. This may be due to the legacies of the Mayor Giuliani and Mayor Bloomberg, who were both known for dramatically reducing crime and staying committed to public safety.
Note: New York does not report official arson figures to the FBI; therefore, the arson rate displayed as 0 is inaccurate.
- Los Angeles has a violent crime rate lower than that of every other city within the ten most populous locales with the exception of San Diego.
- L.A. has an exceptionally high rate of motor vehicle thefts. However, Los Angeles’ overall rate of larceny-thefts is roughly equal to that of New York. This could be that among the cities in this comparison, LA has a much higher driving rate.
- Los Angeles also has the highest rate of arson amongst America’s top ten most populated cities - a disturbing statistic when considering the fact that in California even a small blaze can quickly turn into a destructive wildfire.
- Chicago remains in the midst of a violent crime epidemic, with overall violent crime rates far higher than those of each of the top ten most populous cities with the exceptions of Houston and Philadelphia.
- As shown in the above chart, the proportion of murders and non-negligent manslaughters is the highest of the four cities shown. Rape is also high compared to New York, L.A. and Houston.
- Chicago’s overall rate of property crimes is far lower than Houston’s, and is nearly half of San Antonio’s.
- Houston has the highest rates of robbery and burglary compared to New York, L.A. and Chicago. In fact, Houston has the highest robbery rate out of the top ten most populated cities in the country.
- Houston also has a high rate of aggravated assaults, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts.
- What could be influencing Houston’s high violent crime rate? With the help of open data from local law enforcement, citizens and researchers may be able to figure out the underlying causes - whether they involve the drug trade, regional guns laws or lack thereof, or other factors that will reveal themselves once information is available.