The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in its Annual Uniform Crime Report for 2011, continues to record a statistical drop in both violent and nonviolent crime in the US as a whole. This trend has continued for five years. The US Census Bureau reports an annual 4.2 violent crimes per 1000 population nationwide; property crimes are recorded at 30 per 1,000 population.
Nevertheless, alertness to one's surroundings is needed in any US city. As in any country, high property values generally correlate to low crime rates, and a city with an overall low crime rate may have dangerous neighborhoods; New York, Los Angeles, and Boston are examples. In the safest areas, even petty theft is not very common, while in parts of a few US cities, appalling levels of crime prevail, creating a frightening atmosphere marked by derelict buildings, barred windows, and few pedestrians.
Figures are given for the top US cities by population, with the addition of Orlando, Anaheim, and Miami, included because of their popularity as destinations. The numbers indicate annual reported crime rates per 1,000 population. Violent crime encompasses robbery, aggravated assault, rape, and murder. Property crimes tallied are burglary and theft, including motor vehicle theft. Cities with violent crime rates above 10 per 1,000 are shown with a gray background.
Use the same common sense traveling that you would at home. If you come from a country with an especially low crime rate, you may need to use extra caution in urban areas of the United States, especially in crowded subways, train stations, elevators, tourist sites, marketplaces, festivals, and crime-ridden neighborhoods. Follow these basic precautions: