Interpreting demographics data
Each year, through the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the FBI collects voluntarily reported arrest data from the country’s 18,000+ police agencies. This data series includes demographic information about those arrested, such as age, gender, and race. All demographic categories featured in this tool are defined by the UCR program. Although the series is quite extensive, covering a majority of agencies and all years since 1980, demographic information is not uniformly collected. The availability of demographic data is imperative to understanding disparities in punitive enforcement practices. Without it, communities lack a meaningful window into departments’ enforcement practices, frustrating efforts to advance racial equity.
On this page, users can learn more about race and gender disparities in arrests and how these disparities vary by offense type, time, and place.
You can play an important role in creating a future with more complete and transparent demographic data. See our resources page to learn more about advocating for open data at a local level.
For more information about how to interpret UCR data see the FAQ.