USA - reported forcible rape rate 1990-2018

In 2018, the rate of forcible rapes in the United States stood at 30.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. While this figure is about the same as it was in 2007, when the rate was 30.6, it has decreased from 1990, when there were 41.2 forcible rapes per 100,000 inhabitants.

What is forcible rape?

According to the FBI, forcible rape is defined as “sexual penetration, no matter how slight, with a body part or object without the consent of the victim.” This definition changed in 2013 from the previous definition, which specified “carnal knowledge of a female victim forcibly and against her will.” Attempted rape was included in the previous definition, but statutory rape and other sexual offenses were excluded. The old definition was seen as problematic, as people of any gender can be raped. Since the revision of the definition of rape, reported rapes increased by about 20 percent, although it is not clear if this is due to the revised definition or if the rate itself has increased.

Rape in the United States

While rape and sexual assault have been extensively talked about in the U.S. in recent years, especially since the start of the #metoo movement, there is still a large number of sexual offences committed each year. Sadly, the majority of sex offences in the U.S. are carried out against individuals age 20 and under. Astoundingly, the Anchorage, Alaska metropolitan area had the highest rape rate in the United States in 2018, followed by Rapid City, South Dakota. Since rape and sexual assault continue to be underreported in the United States, it is important to find a solution to this devastating problem.

Reported forcible rape rate in the United States from 1990 to 2018

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Release date

September 2019


United States

Survey time period

1990 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Rates are the number of reported offenses per 100,000 of the population.

Forcible rape, as defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Attempts or assaults to commit rape by force or threat of force are also included; however, statutory rape (without force) and other sex offenses are excluded.

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Statistics on "Crime in the United States"

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