Crime severity index in Canada by province 2018

This statistic shows the Crime Severity Index in Canada for 2018, by province. In 2018, the Crime Severity Index in Northwest territories stood at 324.4.

Crime Severity Index

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) was developed by Statistics Canada and first released in 2009. Its creation was meant to address the shortcomings of the traditionally measured crime rate which is simply a count of all crimes per 1,000 people. In contrast, the CSI is a measure of all crimes, weighted by seriousness (length of judicial sentencing). One of the shortcomings of the standard crime rate is that a petty theft receives the same weight as more serious crimes like murder and rape. Compounding this is the fact that minor violations are far more numerous than severe crimes. The consequence is that fluctuations in the number of minor crimes greatly impact the crime rate, while fluctuations of more serious crimes will go relatively unnoticed. In this scenario it would be possible for minor crimes to be decreasing and serious crimes to be increasing with the net effect of the overall crime rate dropping and portraying an inaccurate picture of crime and public safety.

Although the annual trend has been the same between the CSI and the standard crime rate a look at the details reveals differences. For instance, in 2018, Newfoundland and Labrador was the sixth most violent province in Canada based on the standard violent crime rate but was only the twelfth most violent province in Canada based on the violent crime severity index. This would indicate that the majority of violent crime in the province is of a less serious nature.

Crime severity index in Canada in 2018, by province

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Release date

July 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The Crime Severity Index (CSI) takes into account both the volume and the seriousness of crime. In the calculation of the CSI, each offence is assigned a weight, derived from average sentences handed down by criminal courts. The more serious the average sentence, the higher the weight for that offence. As a result, more serious offences have a greater impact on changes in the index. All police-reported Criminal Code offences, including traffic offences and other federal statute offences are included in the CSI.

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Statistics on "Crime in Canada"

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