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National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)


As of January 1, 2021, the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) became the national standard for law enforcement crime data reporting in the United States. The transition to NIBRS represents a significant shift – and improvement – in how reported crime is measured and estimated by the federal government.

NIBRS captures detailed data about the characteristics of criminal incidents, including:

  • a broad array of offenses
  • types and amount of property lost
  • demographic information about victims, offenders, and persons arrested
  • what type of weapon, if any, was used in the incident.

NIBRS data more accurately reflect the types of crime addressed by police agencies, like simple assault, animal cruelty, destruction of property, intimidation, and identity theft. The broad scope of the information collected in NIBRS will greatly improve the nation’s understanding of crime and public safety.

NIBRS - Key Benefits and Fast Facts

Measuring Crime Reported to Law Enforcement using NIBRS Data

The 2021 data year marked the first time that the FBI and BJS estimated reported crime in the United States based solely on NIBRS data. Those crime estimates were derived from data submitted by states and local law enforcement agencies that were certified to report data for the 2021 data year.

As of May 2023

  • all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia are certified to report crime data to NIBRS
  • 77% of the U.S. population is covered by NIBRS-reporting law enforcement agencies
  • 119 NIBRS-certified agencies serve cities and counties with a population of 250,000 or more, covering a total population of more than 65.4 million persons.

The map below depicts the percentage of the population covered by NIBRS-reporting agencies as of May 2023, by state.




NIBRS Multimedia


Listen as Erica Smith (BJS) and Edward Abraham (FBI) discuss the significant improvements the transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) offers in this Justice Today podcast.  



Date Created: August 2, 2022