RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Nearly half of law enforcement agencies in North Carolina failed to report a full year of crime data to the FBI, according to a published report.

The Marshall Project found 293 of the 531 agencies — or, 55 percent — across the state submitted that data for all of 2021, leaving 45 percent that did not.

North Carolina ranks 18th nationally in that measure. Rhode Island ranked first at 92 percent, while agencies in three states — Florida, Delaware and Pennsylvania — were all at less than one percent.

The Marshall Project found 40 percent of the roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country failed to report that data in 2021, when the FBI changed the way it collects that information, switching to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The change allows for the gathering of more specific information about each incident.

In North Carolina, the agencies that represent the most people generally did the best job of reporting those numbers: They represent 87 percent of the state’s population of 10.4 million.

That includes police departments in the state’s largest cities: City police forces in Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville were among those who met that standard.

The largest agency that failed to report a full year was the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, which only reported five months of data.

There were 147 agencies that did not report any numbers to the FBI, but more than a quarter of those were listed as representing a population of zero people. That list includes state park rangers in places like Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher, and the airports in Asheville and Greensboro.

The largest law enforcement agency that failed to report any data was the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

Among those in central North Carolina, the sheriff’s offices in Cumberland and Chatham counties each only reported 10 months of data. The sheriff’s offices in Hoke and Nash counties did not report any data.

A concern for criminologists is that missing data could make it hard to reliably compare crime trends between municipalities and could lead to massive gaps in national crime statistics.

The nonprofit Marshall Project reports on issues related to criminal justice in the U.S.