Alabama's crime rate
There were 156,179 crimes reported in Alabama in 2019, the most recent year crime data is available. Adjusted for population, Alabama's crime rate is 3,185 crimes per 100,000 residents.
How does Alabama compare?
Crime is more common in Alabama than it is on average nationwide. By comparison, the national crime rate of 2,489 per 100,000 people is 22% lower. Of the 50 states, 7 have a higher crime rate than Alabama.
Crime rates nationwide range from 1,361 per 100,000 in Maine to 3,945 per 100,000 in New Mexico, the states with the lowest and highest crime rates, respectively.
Here are the crime rates for all 50 states.
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.
The vast majority of crimes in America are property crimes, accounting for 85% of total crimes in 2019. This share was roughly the same in Alabama, with property crimes accounting for 84% of all crimes reported in the state.
There were 131,133 property crimes reported in Alabama in 2019, or 2,674 per 100,000 residents. This is higher than the national rate of 2,110 property crimes per 100,000 people and is the tenth highest rate of the 50 states.
Larceny is by far the most common type of property crime. The 5,086,096 reported incidents nationwide in 2019 accounted for 73% of all property crime. Alabama's rate of 1,886 reported larceny incidents per 100,000 residents is higher than the nationwide rate of 1,550 per 100,000 and is the 10th highest among states.
An estimated 26,079 break-ins were reported in Alabama in 2019, or 532 per 100,000 state residents -- the seventh highest rate among states. For reference, there were an estimated 1,117,696 break-ins nationwide, or 341 break-ins per 100,000 people.
Motor vehicle theft
Across the U.S., there were 721,885 reported motor vehicle thefts in 2019, a rate of 220 per 100,000 people. Alabama's rate of 257 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents was higher than this national rate and the 15th highest rate compared to all states.
Violent crimes make up a small share of crimes nationwide. In Alabama, violent crimes account for 16% of total crimes, versus 15% nationwide.
While Alabama has the 43rd lowest total crime rate of all states, it has the 44th lowest violent crime rate. The state’s violent crime rate of 511 per 100,000 people is much higher than the national rate of 379 per 100,000. There were 25,046 violent crimes reported to Alabama law enforcement agencies in 2019.
Aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime. Nationwide, there were 821,182 aggravated assaults in 2019, accounting for 66% of violent crimes across the country. In Alabama, 18,679 aggravated assaults were reported in 2019. Alabama's rate of aggravated assault of 381 per 100,000 people is much higher than the national rate of 250 per 100,000 and is the seventh highest of all states.
Robbery is the second most common type of violent crime in America. There were 3,941 robberies reported in Alabama in 2019, or 80 robberies for every 100,000 residents. This is roughly the same as the national rate of 82 robberies per 100,000 people, and the 14th highest robbery rate among states.
There were 2,068 reported rapes in 2019 in Alabama. The state's rate of rape of 42.2 per 100,000 residents is similar to the national rate of 42.6 per 100,000 people. Alabama has the 22nd lowest rate of rape.
In 2019, there were 358 murders reported to law enforcement in Alabama. The state’s murder rate of 7.3 per 100,000 residents is higher than the national rate of 5.0 per 100,000. Alabama's murder rate is the ninth highest in the country.
Where are these crimes being committed?
Because crime is influenced by local circumstances, crime levels vary considerably within each state. Often a state’s dense urban areas will have higher crime rates than its rural areas. Even in a state with an exceptionally low crime rate, there is often at least one area where crime rates exceed the nation.
City with the highest crime rate in Alabama
Since Hoover was the only city that provided crime data to the FBI in 2019, it is by default the city with the highest crime rate in Alabama. The city's total crime rate is 2,377 per 100,000 residents.
Crime over time
National historical trend
The FBI provides access to crime data by state dating back to 1960. This 60-year span, can be divided into three periods. Crime skyrocketed between 1960 and 1980, with the crime rate more than tripling in just 20 years from 1,887 crimes per 100,000 Americans to 5,950 crimes per 100,000 Americans.
Crime remained high in the 1980s and reached its second highest peak in 1991. Since that year, crime has fallen steadily nationwide, reaching its current rate of 2,489 per 100,000, a 58% decline in 28 years.
Alabama's historical trend
In 1960, Alabama's crime rate was 1,222 crimes per 100,000 residents. Crime peaked in the state in 1991 at 5,366 per 100,000, an increase of 339%.
Crime changes 2014-2019
Over the five years since 2014, the nationwide total crime rate has decreased by 15.2%, but this change varied dramatically between states. In New Hampshire, for example, the crime rate decreased by 37.0%, the largest decline of any state. The largest increase was in Alaska, where crime rose by 11.3% between 2014 and 2019.
With a decrease of 11.7%, Alabama's crime rate has fallen slower than the country as a whole. The crime rate declined in 48 states over this time period, and in most of them, it declined faster than in Alabama.
How Alabama has compared to other states historically
Despite the state's current relatively high crime rate, since 1960, Alabama has typically had a lower crime rate than the majority of states. Also, the state's crime rate ranking has varied much more than most states since 1960. In fact, Alabama has been among the 10 states with the highest crime rates and the 10 states with the lowest crime rates over the time period, one of only six states where this was true.
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