Nov 6, 2023 - News

Pennsylvania's violent crime rate declines

Data: FBI; Note: 2021 data was removed and estimated due to a low number of agencies reporting that year; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pennsylvania's violent crime rate dropped nearly 9% last year from what it was in 2019.

Driving the news: There were 279.9 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Pennsylvania in 2022, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from recently released FBI crime data.

  • That's down 21% from 2012.

Be smart: These are only reported crimes. Some incidents go unreported, but it's impossible to calculate that reporting gap accurately.

Of note: Changes in how crime info is reported to the FBI muddied the 2021 data, making it impossible to draw definite 2021-2022 year-over-year conclusions.

  • Philly was among several major police departments that previously failed to report or didn't fully report their 2021 crime data as the Justice Department moved to a new reporting system, called the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS).
  • For its 2022 report, the FBI combined NIBRS data with submissions using an older system, resulting in nationally representative data, the agency says.

The big picture: The national rate of violent crime was essentially flat between 2019 and 2022, while that of property crime decreased.

  • Violent crime went from 380.8 reports per 100,000 people to 380.7 reports (down .03%), while property crime went from 2,130.6 to 1,954.4 (down 8.3%).

Zoom in: Per police data, Philadelphia reported a slight uptick in violent crime over the same period, from about 15,100 incidents in 2019 to more than 15,220 in 2022.

What they're saying: Police say that violent crime leveled off this year after the city eclipsed 500 homicides in 2021 and 2022.

  • Philly has had a 20% reduction in homicides in 2023 compared to the same time last year.

Yes, but: There was a 31% rise in property crimes in 2022 — and a nearly 40% increase compared with 2019, per police data.


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