Tennessee Has a Near Nation-Leading Violent Crime Rate, According to FBI

Oct 13, 2022 | Political News

The FBI recently released its annual Uniform Crime Report, offering a statistical documentation of crime in the United States in 2021. Historically, the UCR has provided a comprehensive snapshot of crime in each of the 50 states, but this year, the picture is incomplete.

Due to a change in reporting systems – from the legacy Summary Reporting System to the new National Incident-Based Reporting System – many police departments across the country did not submit cime data to the FBI. As a result, nine states were excluded from this year's UCR: Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Whether or not 2021 crime estimates for these places will eventually be released remains to be seen – but for the states with available data, the latest UCR offers some useful insight into 2021 violent crime trends.

Violent crime is a broad category that consists of four types of the most serious offenses: robbery, rape, aggravated assault, and homicide. In Tennessee, there were 34,753 violent crimes reported in 2021, or 498 for every 100,000 people, the fourth highest violent crime rate among the 41 states with available data. Meanwhile, the national violent crime rate (based on the incomplete data) stands at 334 incidents per 100,000 people.

While it is not always the case, violent crime is often more common in economically disadvantaged areas with high poverty rates and lower levels of social integration. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2021 American Community Survey, the poverty rate across Tennessee stands at 13.6%, compared to the 12.8% national poverty rate.