Violent crime rate hits 20-year low in 2014 but varies by state

Over the past 20 years, violent crime* has decreased considerably – down 35 percent from 1995. The violent crime rate (number of violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants) fell precipitously over this period, from 684.5 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants to 365.5 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2014, there were about 1.2 million violent crimes nationwide; in 1995 there were 1.8 million, despite the fact that the U.S. population grew by approximately 21 percent over this period.  

Violent crime rates vary considerably across states, from a low of 99 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants in Vermont and 127.8 per 100,000 in Maine to a high of 636 crimes per 100,000 in Alaska and Nevada and 1,244 crimes per 100,000 in the District of Columbia.

*Violent crime includes four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.