In 2022, 31% of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. failed to report crime data to the FBI's national database after transitioning to a new data collection system, according to the latest statistics from the FBI. Participation has improved since 2021 when almost 40% of the agencies were missing. The Marshall Project continues to follow the real-world consequences of the gaps.
The missing data is not random. While 17 states had nearly perfect participation in the FBI’s crime data, less than 10% of the agencies in Florida and Pennsylvania submitted their data in 2022.
Many criminologists fear the missing data means reliable crime rates will be unavailable later this decade. When local police departments don’t report data to the FBI, examining local crime trends or comparing rates in different communities becomes impossible.