Crime in New Jersey

New Jersey's crime rate

There were 143,693 crimes reported in New Jersey in 2018, the most recent year crime data is available. Adjusted for population, New Jersey's crime rate is 1,613 crimes per 100,000 residents.

How does New Jersey compare?

Crime is less common in New Jersey than it is on average nationwide. By comparison, the national crime rate of 2,580 per 100,000 people is 60% higher. Of the 50 states, 45 have a higher crime rate than New Jersey.

Crime rates nationwide range from 1,422 per 100,000 in New Hampshire to 4,276 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.

Property crime

The vast majority of crimes in America are property crimes, accounting for 85% of total crimes in 2018. This share was slightly higher in New Jersey, with property crimes accounting for 87% of all crimes reported in the state.

There were 125,156 property crimes reported in New Jersey in 2018, or 1,405 per 100,000 residents. This is far lower than the national rate of 2,200 property crimes per 100,000 people and is the fifth lowest rate of the 50 states.

Larceny

Larceny is by far the most common type of property crime. The 5,217,055 reported incidents nationwide in 2018 accounted for 72% of all property crime. New Jersey's rate of 1,065 reported larceny incidents per 100,000 residents is lower than the nationwide rate of 1,595 per 100,000 and is the fifth lowest among states.

Burglary

An estimated 19,232 break-ins were reported in New Jersey in 2018, or 216 per 100,000 state residents -- the seventh lowest rate among states. For reference, there were an estimated 1,230,149 break-ins nationwide, or 376 break-ins per 100,000 people.

Motor vehicle theft

Across the U.S., there were 748,841 reported motor vehicle thefts in 2018, a rate of 229 per 100,000 people. New Jersey's rate of 124 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 residents was much lower than this national rate and the eighth lowest rate compared to all states.

Violent crime

Violent crimes make up a small share of crimes nationwide. In New Jersey, violent crimes account for just 13% of total crimes, versus 15% nationwide.

While New Jersey has the fifth lowest total crime rate of all states, it has the sixth lowest violent crime rate. The state’s violent crime rate of 208 per 100,000 people is considerably lower than the national rate of 381 per 100,000. There were 18,537 violent crimes reported to New Jersey law enforcement agencies in 2018.

Aggravated assault

Aggravated assault is by far the most common type of violent crime. Nationwide, there were 807,410 aggravated assaults in 2018, accounting for 65% of violent crimes across the country. In New Jersey, 10,463 aggravated assaults were reported in 2018. New Jersey's rate of aggravated assault of 117 per 100,000 people is less than half the national rate of 247 per 100,000 and is the fifth lowest of all states.

Robbery

Robbery is the second most common type of violent crime in America. There were 6,364 robberies reported in New Jersey in 2018, or 71 robberies for every 100,000 residents. This is lower than the national rate of 86 robberies per 100,000 people, and the 22nd highest robbery rate among states.

Rape

There were 1,424 reported rapes in 2018 in New Jersey. The state's rate of rape of 16.0 per 100,000 residents is less than half the national rate of 42.6 per 100,000 people. New Jersey has the lowest rate of rape.

Murder

In 2018, there were 286 murders reported to law enforcement in New Jersey. The state’s murder rate of 3.2 per 100,000 residents is lower than the national rate of 5.0 per 100,000. New Jersey's murder rate is the 21st lowest 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 New Jersey

The city with the highest total crime rate in New Jersey is Wildwood, with a crime rate of 7,031 per 100,000 residents. This excludes cities with a population below 5,000 and cities with incomplete FBI crime reports.

Interestingly, even though they comprise the total crime rate, Wildwood neither has the highest property crime rate nor the highest violent crime rate in the state. Watchung has the highest property crime rate, while Trenton has the highest violent crime rate.

The violent crime rate of 1,162 per 100,000 in Trenton -- the most dangerous city in New Jersey -- is more than five times the statewide rate.

Crime over time

National historical trend

The FBI provides access to crime data by state dating back to 1960. This nearly 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 2,580 per 100,000, a 56% decline in 27 years.

New Jersey's historical trend

In 1960, New Jersey's crime rate was 1,491 crimes per 100,000 residents. Crime peaked in the state in 1980 at 6,401 per 100,000, an increase of 329%.

Crime changes 2013-2018

Over the five years since 2013, the nationwide total crime rate has decreased by 16.8%, but this change varied dramatically between states. In New Hampshire, for example, the crime rate decreased by 43.6%, the largest decline of any state. The largest increase was in Alaska, where crime rose by 19.0% between 2013 and 2018.

With a decrease of 25.7%, New Jersey's crime rate has fallen much faster than the country as a whole. The crime rate declined in 47 states over this time period, but in most of them, it declined slower than in New Jersey.

How New Jersey has compared to other states historically

Since 1960, New Jersey has had periods of both relatively high and relatively low crime rates compared to the other states. Over these 59 years, the state has been among the 10 states with the lowest crime rates in 16 of them, but never among the states with the highest crime rates.

All cities in New Jersey

Here are all New Jersey cities ranked by total crime rate. For a city to be included, it must have a complete 2018 FBI crime report and population of 5,000 or more. Click any bar or city name to see more about crime in that city.

Click here to see a list of all city crime pages.

Click here to see a list of all state crime pages.