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Publication International Crime Rates

Carol B. Kalish, Bureau of Justice Statistics

May 1, 1988    NCJ 110776

U.S. crime rates for the three violent crimes homicide, rape, robbery) were several times higher than the averages for reporting European countries. The U.S. homicide rate was 10.5-7.9 per 100,000 population compared to Europe's less than 2 per 100,000. The U.S. rate for rape was approximately seven times higher than the average for Europe. United States robbery rates were approximately four times higher than those in Europe. Theft and auto theft in the United States were approximately twice as high as in Europe. The U.S. rates for violent crime were also higher than those for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, but differences were smaller than those for Europe. Data are based on crimes reported by law enforcement authorities to the United Nations, the International Police Organization, and the World Health Organization. The study compares data sources and discusses definitional problems in comparing crime rates among nations and cautions in comparing crime rates over time. 13 tables.

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