At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Data on area crime rates may relate to opportunities for physical activity.
  • Covers approximately 95 percent of U.S. population, with higher reporting rates for large metropolitan areas



To collect data about crimes in communities in the United States (U.S.).

Target Population

Law enforcement agencies in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), cities outside MSAs, and nonmetropolitan counties in the U.S.


Began in 1930. Ongoing with annual publications. Most recent year conducted was 2018.


Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice


Sample Design

Database, not a survey.

Data are voluntarily submitted by law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Learn more.

Sample Size

Approximately 17,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and Federal law enforcement agencies serving more than 288 million U.S. inhabitants in 2009.

Special Note(s)

Law enforcement agencies active in the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program serve 94.6 percent of the total U.S. population. The completeness of data submitted by different agencies may vary.

Each year some agencies use UCR data to compile crime statistic rankings of cities and counties. Thus, the data user is cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.

UCR uses the hierarchy rule, which means that when multiple crimes are known to have been committed by an offender in the same incident, only the most serious crime is reported. The hierarchy rule is considered a limitation of the UCR. Another limitation is the small amount of data on arrestees and victims (except in cases of homicide or non-negligent manslaughter), and the absence of any data on victim-offender relationships.

The UCR Program changed the 2016 edition by reducing the number of tables from 81 to 29

Key Variables


NameMethods of Assessment
Arrestee ageData submitted by law enforcement agencies
Arrestee raceData submitted by law enforcement agencies
Arrestee sexData submitted by law enforcement agencies
Victim Disability (cognitive; movement/physical)Data submitted by law enforcement agencies


NameMethods of Assessment
Region, state, metropolitan statistical area, city, county, municipalityN/A


NameMethods of Assessment
Area crime ratesData submitted by law enforcement agencies
City-level rates of crimeData submitted by law enforcement agencies

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Available from the Uniform Crime Reporting website.


Free of charge.

Special Note(s)

Special data reports can be obtained by contacting the Multimedia Productions Group, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Module D3, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306-0157; telephone +1 (304) 625-4995; e-mail


Geocode Variable(s)

Region, state, metropolitan statistical area, city, county, municipality.

Existing Linkages

Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) property crime data have been linked to U.S. Department of Labor unemployment rate data for each county in the state of Virginia.

Special Note(s)

Although UCR data do not use the geocodes and place identifiers used by most other Federal data collections, a method has been developed to link UCR data to data from other federal datasets.

Selected Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.


Doyle S, Kelly-Schwartz A, Schlossberg M, Stockard J. Active community environments and health: The relationship of walkable and safe communities to individual health. Journal of the American Planning Association 2006;72(1):19-31.

Gordon-Larsen P, McMurray RG, Popkin BM. Determinants of adolescent physical activity and inactivity patterns. Pediatrics 2000;105;(6):e83.

Grafova IB. Overweight children: Assessing the contribution of the built environment. Preventive Medicine 2008;47(3):304-308.

Wenthe PJ, Janz KF, Levy SM. Gender similarities and differences in factors associated with adolescent moderate-vigorous physical activity. Pediatric Exercise Science 2009;21(3):291-304.


Data Query System

Data Tool


Data Quality Guidelines