The Most Popular Crime in America: Ranking the Top Offense Preferred by Americans

Choose the crime you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 2, 2024 06:59
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion truly matters! Today, we're diving into the intriguing realm of America's most popular crimes. From daring heists to white-collar mischief, we have curated a list of notorious offenses that have captured the nation's imagination. But which crime will take the top spot as America's favorite? That's where you come in! Cast your vote now, or suggest a criminal addition we might have missed, and help us unveil the dark fascination that lies behind the most captivating crimes of our time. Let's embark on this thrilling journey together and uncover the true face of America's guilty pleasures!

What Is the Most Popular Crime in America?

  1. 1
    Property crime
    Dismas · Public domain
    Property crime is the most common type of crime in America. This includes theft, burglary, and vandalism. According to the FBI, property crimes accounted for 70.8% of all reported crimes in 2019.
    Property crime refers to criminal activities that involve the theft, destruction, or damage of someone's property without the use or threat of force against individuals. It encompasses a wide range of offenses such as burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
    • Classification: Property crime
    • Types of offenses: Burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson
    • Common targets: Homes, businesses, vehicles, personal belongings
    • Intent: Intentional damage, theft, or destruction of property
    • Lack of violence: Typically does not involve direct harm or threat to individuals
  2. 2
    Drug offenses are also prevalent in America, with many people being arrested for drug possession or trafficking. In 2019, drug offenses accounted for 14.3% of all reported crimes.
    Drug offenses refer to crimes related to illegal drug possession, distribution, and trafficking. These crimes involve the cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, sale, or use of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs obtained illegally. Drug offenses are a significant issue in America, contributing to addiction, violence, and overall societal harm.
    • Drug Schedules: Drug offenses are categorized based on drug schedules, which classify controlled substances based on their potential for abuse, medical value, and safety.
    • Types of Drug Offenses: Drug offenses can include possession, possession with intent to distribute, manufacturing or cultivation, distribution, trafficking, prescription drug fraud, and drug-related conspiracy.
    • Statutory Penalties: Drug offenses carry different penalties depending on various factors such as the type and quantity of drugs involved, previous criminal history, and aggravating circumstances.
    • Mandatory Minimum Sentences: Certain drug offenses trigger mandatory minimum sentences, requiring judges to impose a specified minimum term of imprisonment.
    • Federal vs. State Jurisdiction: Drug offenses can be prosecuted under both federal and state laws, with federal charges usually involving more severe penalties.
  3. 3
    DUI is a serious offense in America, with many people being arrested for driving while impaired. In 2019, DUI accounted for 3.1% of all reported crimes.
    Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to the act of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. It is a serious crime that puts the driver, passengers, and other road users at significant risk. DUI is considered one of the most prevalent and dangerous crimes in America, as it can lead to severe accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. This offense is taken very seriously by law enforcement agencies, and strict penalties are imposed on individuals found guilty of DUI.
    • Legal alcohol limit: The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration is typically 0.08% in most states.
    • Field sobriety tests: Officers evaluate a driver's coordination, balance, and cognitive abilities through various tests.
    • Breathalyzer tests: Drivers are required to blow into a device to measure their blood alcohol concentration.
    • Blood tests: In some cases, blood samples are taken to determine drug or alcohol levels.
    • Administrative penalties: DUI offenders may face license suspension, fines, mandatory DUI education programs, and installation of ignition interlock devices.
  4. 4
    Assault is a violent crime that involves physical harm to another person. In 2019, assault accounted for 1.3% of all reported crimes.
    Assault is a common crime in Alaska involving the intentional act of causing physical harm or injury to another person. This can include actions such as hitting, punching, kicking, or using weapons to inflict harm. Assault can range in severity from simple assault, which involves minor injuries, to more serious offenses like aggravated assault, which involves the use of deadly weapons or the intent to cause serious bodily harm. It is considered a serious offense and is punishable under Alaskan law.
    • Type: Crime
    • Severity: Varies from simple assault to aggravated assault
    • Act: Intentional physical harm or injury to another person
    • Examples: Hitting, punching, kicking, using weapons
    • Punishment: Varies depending on severity and circumstances
  5. 5
    Robbery is another type of violent crime that involves taking property from another person through force or intimidation. In 2019, robbery accounted for 0.5% of all reported crimes.
    Robbery is a criminal act that involves the unlawful taking of someone else's property or belongings through the use of force, threat, or intimidation. It is considered a serious offense and is one of the most common crimes in America.
    • Crime Classification: Property Crime
    • Legal Consequences: Felony offense
    • Elements: Unlawful taking, presence of victim, use of force, threat, or intimidation
    • Intent: To deprive the victim of their property against their will
    • Penalties: Varies by jurisdiction, but can include imprisonment, fines, and restitution
  6. 6
    Fraud is a white-collar crime that involves deception or misrepresentation for financial gain. In 2019, fraud accounted for 0.4% of all reported crimes.
    Fraud is a type of criminal activity that involves deceit or trickery for personal gain or to cause harm to others. It usually involves false representation, manipulation, or concealment of facts to deceive individuals or organizations and obtain money, property, or services illegally.
    • Types of Fraud: Identity theft, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, investment fraud, charity fraud, etc.
    • Motive: Financial gain, personal vendettas, revenge, or malicious intent.
    • Methods: Forgery, false pretenses, Ponzi schemes, phishing, pyramid schemes, etc.
    • Victims: Individuals, businesses, government agencies, or any entity susceptible to deception.
    • Impact: Financial losses, reputation damage, emotional distress, and in severe cases, bankruptcy or closure of businesses.
  7. 7
    Homicide is the most serious type of crime, involving the killing of another person. In 2019, homicide accounted for 0.1% of all reported crimes.
    Homicide refers to the act of intentionally causing the death of another person. It is a serious criminal offense and is classified as one of the most severe forms of violent crime in America.
    • Severity: Considered one of the most severe forms of violent crime
    • Motives: Can be driven by various factors such as anger, revenge, domestic disputes, gang-related activities, or as part of another crime
    • Types: Includes murder (premeditated killing), manslaughter (unintentional killing), and justifiable homicide (killing in self-defense or while preventing a crime)
    • Legal Ramifications: Results in criminal charges and could lead to lengthy prison sentences, life imprisonment, or even the death penalty in states that permit it
    • Investigation: Involves professional crime scene analysis, gathering of evidence, conducting interviews, and building a case against the suspect
  8. 8
    Cybercrime is a growing problem in America, with many people falling victim to online scams and fraud. In 2019, cybercrime accounted for 0.1% of all reported crimes.
    Cybercrime refers to criminal activities committed through the use of computer networks or various digital devices. It involves utilizing technology to carry out illegal activities, including theft, fraud, hacking, identity theft, and spreading malicious software like viruses or ransomware.
    • Evolving Nature: Cybercrime continuously evolves as technology advances, making it challenging for investigators to keep up with new methods and techniques.
    • Transnational Scope: Cybercrime knows no geographical boundaries, allowing criminals to operate from anywhere in the world, making it difficult to apprehend and prosecute them.
    • Anonymity: Perpetrators of cybercrime often hide their identities behind fake or stolen digital identities, IP addresses, or anonymous communication tools, making it harder for investigators to identify and track them down.
    • Sophistication: Cybercriminals frequently employ sophisticated techniques such as encryption, obfuscation, and advanced hacking tools to avoid detection and to compromise systems.
    • Wide Range of Offenses: Cybercrime encompasses various offenses, including but not limited to fraud, online scams, unauthorized network access, data breaches, cyber stalking, and many more.
  9. 9
    Human trafficking is a serious crime that involves the exploitation of people for labor or sexual purposes. In 2019, human trafficking accounted for 0.01% of all reported crimes.
    Human trafficking is a heinous crime that involves the exploitation of individuals through force, fraud, or coercion, for the purposes of forced labor, sexual exploitation, or other forms of exploitation. Victims of human trafficking are often lured or abducted, and then subjected to violence, threats, and manipulation. This illegal trade operates on a global scale, profit-driven by criminal networks and organized crime syndicates, causing immense suffering and violating basic human rights.
    • Scope: Global
    • Victimization: Individuals (men, women, children)
    • Methods: Force, fraud, coercion
    • Purpose: Forced labor, sexual exploitation, other forms of exploitation
    • Perpetrators: Criminal networks, organized crime syndicates
    Human trafficking in other rankings
  10. 10
    Terrorism is a rare but serious crime that involves the use of violence to intimidate or coerce a government or population. In 2019, terrorism accounted for less than 0.01% of all reported crimes.
    Terrorism is a form of violence, intimidation, and coercion used to achieve political, ideological, or religious goals. It involves the deliberate targeting of civilians or non-combatants, often carried out by individuals or organizations operating outside of traditional state structures.
    • Intent: Terrorism is carried out with the intention to instill fear, create panic, and provoke a response from a targeted population or governing body.
    • Targets: Terrorist acts are usually directed at civilians or non-combatant individuals, infrastructure, or symbols of authority. Targets can include public spaces, transportation systems, religious institutions, government buildings, or iconic landmarks.
    • Motivation: Terrorism is driven by various motivations, which may include political, ideological, ethnic, religious, or separatist goals. Different groups or individuals may have distinct motives behind their acts of terror.
    • Methods: Terrorist methods can vary widely, including bombings, shootings, hostage-taking, kidnappings, hijackings, suicide attacks, cyber-terrorism, and chemical or biological attacks. The aim is to cause widespread fear, disruption, and loss of life.
    • Global Reach: Terrorism can occur in any part of the world. While some acts are localized, others have a global impact, with interconnected networks, affiliates, or inspired individuals carrying out attacks in different countries.

Missing your favorite crime?


Ranking factors for popular crime

  1. Crime rate
    The frequency of incidents per 100,000 people in a specific area or population should be considered.
  2. Types of crime
    The various categories of crime, including property crimes, violent crimes, drug-related offenses, and white-collar crimes, should be analyzed.
  3. Geographic distribution
    The prevalence of specific crimes in different regions, states, and cities should be taken into account.
  4. Demographic factors
    Important factors such as age, gender, race, and socio-economic status of both perpetrators and victims of crime should be examined.
  5. Trends and patterns
    Analyze whether the crime rates are increasing, decreasing, or remaining steady over time.
  6. Arrest and conviction rates
    The success of law enforcement in apprehending and convicting criminals should also be considered.
  7. Public perception and media influence
    The role of media and public perception in shaping the view of specific crimes as more or less popular should be acknowledged.
  8. Impact on society
    The overall social, economic, and psychological impact of different types of crime should be taken into account.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular crime in America. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or crime is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 201 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each crime once every 24 hours. The rank of each crime is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular crime in america

Crime is a prevalent issue in America, and it affects millions of people every year. From petty theft to violent crimes, criminal activities come in different shapes and sizes. But what is the most popular crime in America? According to statistics, property crimes such as burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft are the most commonly reported crimes in the country. In fact, the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program states that property crimes account for over 70% of all reported crimes. While violent crimes like murder, assault, and rape are more heinous, they are less frequent in comparison to property crimes. Understanding the most popular type of crime can help law enforcement agencies and policymakers allocate resources and come up with effective strategies to combat criminal activities.

Share this article