Violent Crime Rates U.S. VS Australia

Someone came by searching for “violent crime rates us vs australia.”

I have fisked Oz’ gun laws many times, most recently here.

The real problem with comparing the two nations is simple enough. In the United States, the various local police departments report their crime numbers to the FBI, which tabulates the numbers and calculates rates and publishes the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. If a local department wishes to report their crime totals to the local media, they are free to do so, and many departments do exactly that. In addition, a number of newspapers keep running totals of crimes in their city, as the Chicago Tribune’s Redeye keeps a running count of Chicago’s homicides.

But in Oz, Canberra controls all crime data released other than local “robbers struck the Bank of Western Australia” press reports. The Melbourne PD cannot tell the media how many burglaries there were in 2011, that has to come from Canberra. Perth cannot release a running total of murders, that has to come from Canberra. And so on and on. Once a year, Canberra releases the crime stats for the second previous year – which in no way agree with individual counts of media reports of serious crimes in the various Australian cities.

That said, a spreadsheet with the FBI’s violent crime numbers since 1960 are at this link.

And here is the “official data from the Australian Institute of Criminology,” taken from their website.


Violent crime rates are calculated by dividing the numbers for a given crime by the population in 100,000’s. Australia’s population is estimated to have been 20,500,000 in 2010, the last year listed on the chart. Therefore, dividing the 171,083 assaults by 205 100,000’s obtains an assault rate of 834.5.

Now, for those violent crime rates we can directly compare;

Assault:………………… Australia 834.5……….U.S 404.5 (386.3 in 2011)

Sexual Assault………………Australia 86.6………..U.S. 27.7 (26.8 in 2011)

Robbery ………………….Australia 71.1………..US 119.3 (113.7 in 2011)

Kidnapping………………..Australia 2.9…………US So rare records are not kept.

Murder…..Melbourne, we have a problem. Australia’s official rate is 1.3 less than one third of the U.S. 4.2. The total of individual violent deaths reported by major newspapers in each Australian State other than the Northern Territory is above 150. Given that, Australia’s murder rate is suspiciously low.

Consider for a moment:

Since 1996 the United States assault rate has dropped by 43.6 percent. Australia’s assault numbers have increased by 150 percent.

Since 1996, the United States forcible rape rate has fallen by 36.5%, while “gun free Australia’s” sexual assault numbers are up by 22%.

Since 1996, the United States robbery rates have consistently fallen, by a total of 46%. Oz? The official robbery rates soared immediately after the Howard regime’s gun control laws, but now the official, and heavily edited, robbery rate has fallen by an extremely unimpressive 12.2 percent.

And the bottom line? Even making the dubious assumption the Australians themselves are mistaken and the “Australian Institute of Criminology” numbers are correct – Oz’ has profited very little from its gun control laws.

While Americans purchase more than ten million new guns a year, and violent crime rates are still falling. Without the use of WhiteOut, erasers, or computer algorithms.


About Stranger

A collaborative effort, Extranos Alley is primarily concerned with providing up to date data on the relationships between privately woned firearms and crime, violence, and politics. The site is maintained by nine volunteers who have given up their identity that the work here may be considered without regard to the individual data. The contributors are a diverse group, ranging from a retired physicist to a board certified psychologist.
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