Crime in Washington, District Of Columbia

Washington's crime rate

There were 36,861 crimes reported in Washington, District Of Columbia in 2019, the most recent year crime data is available. Adjusted for population, the city’s annual crime rate is 5,223 incidents for every 100,000 people.

How does Washington compare?

Washington has one of the highest overall crime rates of any U.S. city. For comparison, the national total crime rate is 2,489 incidents for every 100,000 people.

What types of crimes are being committed?

The FBI's crime rate includes seven crime categories: three property crimes -- larceny, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, and four violent crimes -- aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder.

Property crime

The vast majority of crimes in America are property crimes, accounting for 85% of total crimes in 2019. In Washington, however, property crimes account for only about 81% of all offenses.

Despite accounting for a smaller than average share of total offenses, property crime is much more prevalent in Washington than it is nationwide. There were 29,965 property crimes in Washington in 2019, or 4,246 for every 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, the national property crime rate is 2,110 incidents per 100,000 people.

Larceny

Larceny is by far the most common type of property crime in the U.S. It is also the most commonly committed type of property crime in Washington. There were 25,827 larcenies reported in Washington in 2019, or 3,660 for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, the larceny rate is 1,550 per 100,000.

Burglary

There were 1,840 break-ins reported in Washington in 2019, or 261 for every 100,000 residents. For reference, there were 341 reported burglaries for every 100,000 people nationwide in 2019.

Motor Vehicle Theft

Across the United States, the annual motor vehicle theft rate is 220 for every 100,000 people. In Washington, meanwhile, there were 2,298 motor vehicle thefts in 2019, or 326 for every 100,000 people.

Violent crime

Violent crime accounts for a relatively small share of crimes nationwide. These offenses, which are generally more egregious than property crimes, account for about 15% of the nearly 8.2 million offenses reported across the U.S. in 2019. In Washington, however, violent offenses account for a larger 19% share of all reported crime.

At 977 incidents for every 100,000 people, the violent crime rate in Washington is well above the national violent crime rate of 379 offenses per 100,000 people. Law enforcement in Washington reported a total of 6,896 violent crimes in 2019.

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime reported in the U.S. It is also the most commonly reported violent offense in Washington. There were 4,029 aggravated assaults reported in Washington in 2019, or 571 for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, the rate is far lower, standing at 250 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people.

Robbery

Robbery is the second most common type of violent crime in America. There were 2,359 robberies reported in Washington in 2019, a rate of 334 robberies for every 100,000 residents. For comparison, the national robbery rate was 82 per 100,000 in 2019.

Rape

There were 342 rapes reported in Washington in 2019, or 49 for every 100,000 people. Nationwide, there were 139,815 rapes in 2019, a rate of 43 per 100,000 people.

Murder

There were 166 homicides committed in the city in 2019. Adjusted for population, the murder rate in Washington is 23.5 murders for every 100,000 people, more than four times higher than the national murder rate of 5 per 100,000 people.

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