The Federal Bureau of Investigation makes the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) data publicly available, and has even introduced a web-based tool to search the data in 2010. But Google’s Public Data service may offer the best option to quickly customize and display UCR crime data. You can even embed the charts in your website, but only if you can use iframe tags, which wordpress.com does not allow.
These graphs all look at the rate per 100,000 from 1960 to 2009. Click the images to go directly to the tables in Google Public Data, where you can change the variables to create your own graphs.
What’s interesting in these graphs?
Well, homicide is probably the best indicator of overall violent crime because almost all homicides are known to law enforcement. And, of course, the UCR data only include those crimes known to law enforcement. Compare homicide with forcible rape (FBI’s terminology and definition) with homicide, and I think what you largely see is differences in reporting rather than differences in actual rates in a year-by-year comparison.
What else do you see?