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Clearance rate - crime clearance rate by type 2019

In 2019, murder and manslaughter charges had the highest crime clearance rate in the United States, with 61.4 percent of all cases being cleared by arrest or so-called exceptional means. Motor vehicle theft cases had the lowest crime clearance rate, at 13.8 percent.

What is crime clearance?

Within the U.S. criminal justice system, criminal cases can be cleared (or closed) one of two ways. The first is through arrest, which means that at least one person has either been arrested, charged with an offense, or turned over to the court for prosecution. The second way a case can be closed is through what is called exceptional means, where law enforcement must have either identified the offender, gathered enough evidence to arrest, charge, and prosecute someone, identified the offender’s exact location, or come up against a circumstance outside the control of law enforcement that keeps them from arresting and prosecuting the offender.

Crime in the United States

Despite what many people may believe, crime in the United States has been on the decline. Particularly in regard to violent crime, the violent crime rate has almost halved since 1990, meaning that the U.S. is safer than it was almost 30 years ago.

Crime clearance rate in the United States in 2019, by type

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Release date

September 2020


United States

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Figures shown for rape only include those reported by law enforcement agencies using the revised Uniform Crime Reporting definition of rape.

Not all agencies submit reports for arson to the FBI. As a result, the number of reports the FBI uses to compute the percent of offenses cleared for arson is less than the number it uses to compute the percent of offenses cleared for all other offenses.

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Statistics on "Crime in the United States"

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