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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Security - Crime Rates

Relevance

Crime rates provide a measure of the prevalence and types of crime in Canada. Crimes are typically divided into two broad categories: crimes of violence that involve harm or threats of harm to people (including homicide), and property crimes that involve theft of goods or money without threat or harm to the victim.

The rates of both types of crime and changes in those rates over time are a basic reflection of security and safety in Canadian society.

Summary

  • National Picture — With only 5,756 incidents per 100,000 people in 2011, Canada's national crime rate reached its lowest level since 1972. The rate of violent crime in Canada was 1,231 incidents per 100,000 people, its lowest level since 1998. The rate of property crime, for its part, was 3,520 incidents per 100,000 people, the lowest since 1998.
  • Regions — In 2011, both the rate of violent crime and the rate of property crime were higher in northern and western Canada than in the eastern part of the country.
  • Large Urban Areas — In 2011, rates of violent crime were generally higher in the large urban centres of western Canada than in those of the east. Likewise, the rates of property crime were generally higher in the large urban centres of western Canada than in those of the east.
  • Homicide Rates — The homicide rate has generally been declining since 1975 (3.03 victims per 100,000 people), but rose slightly from 1.62 to 1.73 between 2010 and 2011. This rate was about one-third the United States' rate (4.80), but more than four times the Japanese rate (0.34).

National Picture

In 2011, Canadian police services reported just under 2.0 million Criminal Code incidents (excluding traffic), which is approximately 110,000 (or 5.2%) fewer than in 2010. Canada's national crime rate has been falling steadily since the early 1990s and reached, in 2011, its lowest level since 1972 [1]. From 1998 to 2010, the total crime rate declined from 8,092 to 5,756 incidents per 100,000 people.


This Chart contains data for Crime Rate, Canada, 1998-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 = 5,756.25 2010 = 6,138.62 2009 = 6,442.28 2008 = 6,616.75 2007 = 6,898.79 2006 = 7,243.98 2005 = 7,325.04 2004 = 7,599.62 2003 = 7,770.25 2002 = 7,512.11 2001 = 7,586.73 2000 = 7,606.79 1999 = 7,694.33 1998 = 8,091.73 (per 100,000 people) Crime Rate, Canada, 1998-2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Crime Rate, Canada, 1998-2011 (per 100,000 people)
19981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
8,091.737,694.337,606.797,586.737,512.117,770.257,599.627,325.047,243.986,898.796,616.756,442.286,138.625,756.25

After rising from 1,345 to 1,494 incidents per 100,000 people between 1998 and 2000, the rate of violent crime then dropped steadily to reach its lowest level in the past 13 years in 2011, namely 1,231 incidents per 100,000 people.


This Chart contains data for Violent crimes, Canada, 1998-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 = 1,231.00 2010 = 1,287.00 2009 = 1,318.30 2008 = 1,331.52 2007 = 1,352.13 2006 = 1,386.45 2005 = 1,388.91 2004 = 1,404.21 2003 = 1,434.79 2002 = 1,440.77 2001 = 1,473.43 2000 = 1,494.21 1999 = 1,440.12 1998 = 1,344.85 (per 100,000 people) Violent crimes, Canada, 1998-2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Violent crimes, Canada, 1998-2011 (per 100,000 people)
19981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
1,344.851,440.121,494.211,473.431,440.771,434.791,404.211,388.911,386.451,352.131,331.521,318.301,287.001,231.00

In terms of the breakdown by type of violent crime, in 2011, assault accounted for 56.9% of all violent crimes, followed by uttering threats (17.0%), robbery (7.0%) and sexual assault (5.1%).[2]

Rates of property crime dropped by over one third over the past 13 years from 5,696 incidents per 100,000 people in 1998 to 3,520 in 2011.

This Chart contains data for Property crimes, Canada, 1998-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 = 3,520.00 2010 = 3,824.00 2009 = 4,110.84 2008 = 4,248.93 2007 = 4,519.03 2006 = 4,808.18 2005 = 4,883.85 2004 = 5,123.13 2003 = 5,298.54 2002 = 5,080.05 2001 = 5,124.03 2000 = 5,188.88 1999 = 5,344.59 1998 = 5,696.02 (per 100,000 people) Property crimes, Canada, 1998-2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Property crimes, Canada, 1998-2011 (per 100,000 people)
19981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
5,696.025,344.595,188.885,124.035,080.055,298.545,123.134,883.854,808.184,519.034,248.934,110.843,824.003,520.00

In terms of specific types of property offences, in 2011, theft of property other than vehicles accounted for 42.2% of all property crime, followed by mischief (26.0%), breaking and entering (14.9%), motor vehicle theft (6.8%), fraud (7.4%) and possession of stolen goods (1.8%).[3]


Regions

In 2011, the rates of violent crime were highest in Nunavut (9,987 incidents per 100,000 people), the Northwest Territories (8,499) and Yukon (4,226). The remaining regions, the rates tended to be higher in the West than in the East. Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island were the only regions to have a rate of violent crime below the national average of 1,231 incidents per 100,000 people.


This Chart contains data for Violent crimes, by region, 2011. Information is available in table below NU = 9,887 NT = 8,499 YT = 4,226 BC = 1,460 AB = 1,405 SK = 2,366 MB = 2,100 ON = 950 QC = 1,045 NB = 1,460 NS = 1,458 PE = 1,137 NL = 1,535 CAN = 1,231 (per 100,000 people) Violent crimes, by region, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Violent crimes, by region, 2011 (per 100,000 people)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
1,2311,5351,1371,4581,4601,0459502,1002,3661,4051,4604,2268,4999,887

In 2011, rates of property crime were higher in the territories and the western provinces than in Canada's eastern provinces. The rates of property crime were highest in the Northwest Territories (23,123 incidents per 100,000 people), Nunavut (16,818) and Yukon (9,191). Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick were the only regions to have a rate of property crime below the national average of 3,520 crimes per 100,000 people.


This Chart contains data for Property crimes, by region, 2011. Information is available in table below NU = 16,818 NT = 23,123 YT = 9,191 BC = 4,699 AB = 4,317 SK = 6,785 MB = 4,914 ON = 2,739 QC = 2,860 NB = 3,033 NS = 4,021 PE = 4,341 NL = 3,913 CAN = 3,520 (per 100,000 people) Property crimes, by region, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Property crimes, by region, 2011 (per 100,000 people)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCYTNTNU
3,5203,9134,3414,0213,0332,8602,7394,9146,7854,3174,6999,19123,12316,818

Large Urban Areas

In 2011, the rates of violent crime were generally below the national average of 1,231 incidents per 100,000 people in the large urban areas of Ontario and Quebec and above the average in the large urban areas of western Canada. The rates were particularly high in Saskatoon (1,655), Regina (1,338) and Winnipeg (1,497), while St-Catherines-Niagara had the lowest rate (755) among all of Canada's urban areas having over 200,000 residents.

This Chart contains data for Violent crimes, large urban areas, 2011. Information is available in table below Victoria, BC = 1,222 Vancouver, BC = 1,199 Edmonton, AB = 1,225 Calgary, AB = 788 Saskatoon, SK = 1,655 Regina, SK = 1,497 Winnipeg, MB = 1,338 Windsor, ON = 908 London, ON = 950 Kitchener, ON = 968 St.Catharines-Niagara, ON = 755 Hamilton, ON = 1,052 Toronto, ON = 876 Ottawa-Gatineau, ON/QC = 821 Montral, QC = 1,018 Qubec, QC = 824 Halifax, NS = 1,364 Canada = 1,231 (per 100,000 people) Violent crimes, large urban areas, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Violent crimes, large urban areas, 2011 (per 100,000 people)
CanadaHalifax, NSQubec, QCMontral, QCOttawa-Gatineau, ON/QCToronto, ONHamilton, ONSt.Catharines-Niagara, ONKitchener, ONLondon, ONWindsor, ONWinnipeg, MBRegina, SKSaskatoon, SKCalgary, ABEdmonton, ABVancouver, BCVictoria, BC
1,2311,3648241,0188218761,0527559689509081,3381,4971,6557881,2251,1991,222

Like the rates of violent crime, the rates of property crime were generally below the national average of 3,520 incidents per 100,000 people in the large urban areas of Ontario and Quebec and above the average in the large urban areas of western Canada. Of the Canadian urban centres with more than 200,000 residents, it was in Regina (5,672), Saskatoon (5,453) and Vancouver (4,569) that the highest rates of property crime were observed, whereas it was in Toronto (2,222) and Quebec City (2,514) that the lowest rates were observed.

This Chart contains data for Property crimes, large urban areas, 2011. Information is available in table below Victoria, BC = 4,164 Vancouver, BC = 4,569 Edmonton, AB = 4,075 Calgary, AB = 3,310 Saskatoon, SK = 5,453 Regina, SK = 5,672 Winnipeg, MB = 4,439 Windsor, ON = 3,087 London, ON = 3,801 Kitchener, ON = 3,090 St.Catharines-Niagara, ON = 3,129 Hamilton, ON = 3,106 Toronto, ON = 2,222 Ottawa-Gatineau, ON/QC = 2,899 Montral, QC = 3,208 Qubec, QC = 2,514 Halifax, NS = 4,231 Canada = 3,520 (per 100,000 people) Property crimes, large urban areas, 2011

Source: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Property crimes, large urban areas, 2011 (per 100,000 people)
CanadaHalifax, NSQubec, QCMontral, QCOttawa-Gatineau, ON/QCToronto, ONHamilton, ONSt.Catharines-Niagara, ONKitchener, ONLondon, ONWindsor, ONWinnipeg, MBRegina, SKSaskatoon, SKCalgary, ABEdmonton, ABVancouver, BCVictoria, BC
3,5204,2312,5143,2082,8992,2223,1063,1293,0903,8013,0874,4395,6725,4533,3104,0754,5694,164

Homicide Rates

Homicide, considered to be the most serious of all criminal acts, is more likely than most other crimes to be discovered and thoroughly investigated. What constitutes homicide is also fairly well understood throughout Canada and the rest of the world. The homicide rate is thus considered by some to be a more reliable "barometer" of violence in society and a better comparative measure of violence across different societies than are rates of other crimes or offences.

Homicide rates for Canada are available from 1961 onwards. Between 1961 and 1975, the national homicide rate more than doubled, rising from 1.28 to 3.03 homicides per 100,000 people. Despite some annual fluctuations, Canada's homicide rate declined steadily in the 25 years after peaking in 1975, then attained a degree of stability over the past decade. In 2011, there were 598 (1.73 per 100,000) homicides in Canada, up from 554 homicides (1.62 per 100,000) in 2010 which was the lowest rate since 1966.[4


This Chart contains data for Homicides, Canada, 1961-2011. Information is available in table below 2011 = 1.7 2010 = 1.6 2009 = 1.8 2008 = 1.8 2007 = 1.8 2006 = 1.9 2005 = 2.1 2004 = 2.0 2003 = 1.7 2002 = 1.9 2001 = 1.8 2000 = 1.8 1999 = 1.8 1998 = 1.9 1997 = 2.0 1996 = 2.1 1995 = 2.0 1994 = 2.1 1993 = 2.2 1992 = 2.6 1991 = 2.7 1990 = 2.4 1989 = 2.4 1988 = 2.1 1987 = 2.4 1986 = 2.2 1985 = 2.7 1984 = 2.6 1983 = 2.7 1982 = 2.7 1981 = 2.6 1980 = 2.4 1979 = 2.6 1978 = 2.8 1977 = 3.0 1976 = 2.9 1975 = 3.0 1974 = 2.6 1973 = 2.4 1972 = 2.3 1971 = 2.1 1970 = 2.2 1969 = 1.9 1968 = 1.8 1967 = 1.7 1966 = 1.3 1965 = 1.4 1964 = 1.3 1963 = 1.3 1962 = 1.4 1961 = 1.3 (per 100,000 people) Homicides, Canada, 1961-2011

Source: From 1961 to 1978: Geoffrey Li (2008), "Homicide in Canada, 2007", Juristat, Vol. 28, No 9. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2008 (Cat. No. 85-002-XIE); from 1979 to 1997: Sara Beattie and Adam Cotter (2010), "Homicide in Canada, 2009", Juristat, Vol. 30, No 3. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2010 (Cat. No. 85-002-XIE); from 1998 to 2011: Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Homicides, Canada, 1961-2011 (per 100,000 people)
196119621963196419651966196719681969197019711972197319741975197619771978197919801981198219831984198519861987198819891990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011
1.31.41.31.31.41.31.71.81.92.22.12.32.42.63.02.93.02.82.62.42.62.72.72.62.72.22.42.12.42.42.72.62.22.12.02.12.01.91.81.81.81.91.72.02.11.91.81.81.81.61.7

Canada's homicide rate in 2011 (1.73 victims per 100,000 people) was compared to the most recent rate available for various countries with an economic development level similar to Canada's. From that comparison, it appears that Canada's homicide rate was significantly below the United States' rate (4.80) and also below those of Finland (2.50) and New Zealand (1.76). Yet it was above the rate of Australia (1.12) and three other G7 countries: Japan (0.34), England and Wales (1.16) and France (1.07).


This Chart contains data for Homicides, selected countries, 2009 and 2011. Information is available in table below Japan (2010) = 0.34 Australia (2009) = 1.12 England and Wales (2009) = 1.16 France (2010) = 1.07 Canada (2011) = 1.73 Finland (2010) = 2.50 New Zealand (2010) = 1.76 United States (2010) = 4.80 (per 100,000 people) Homicides, selected countries, 2009 and 2011

Source: For Canada, Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012; for other countries: Sara Beattie and Adam Cotter (2010), "Homicide in Canada, 2010", Juristat, Vol. 30, No 3. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2010 (Cat. No. 85-002-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Homicides, selected countries, 2009 and 2011 (per 100,000 people)
United States (2010)New Zealand (2010)Finland (2010)Canada (2011)France (2010)England and Wales (2009)Australia (2009)Japan (2010)
4.801.762.501.731.071.161.120.34

Footnotes

  1. Shannon Brennan. "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011", Juristat. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012 (Cat. No. 85-002-X).

    [Back to Text]
  2. Calculations of HRSDC based on Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.

    [Back to Text]
  3. Calculations of HRSDC based on Statistics Canada. Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations, annual (CANSIM Table 252-0051). Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2012.

    [Back to Text]
  4. Shannon Brennan and Mia Dauvergne. "Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2010", Juristat. Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2011 (Cat. No. 85-002-X).

    [Back to Text]

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Date Modified:
2014-04-17