Do You Know These Stats About the FBI?

Monica Lee

When did the FBI go digital?

The most sophisticated electronic devices are to be expected at the bureau responsible for national security. However, they did not switch from paper files to computers until 2012. It would have been 2009, but there was a delay due to coding issues.

How old is the ideal FBI candidate?

To become an FBI Special Agent, candidates should be between the ages of 23 and 37 and successfully complete a battery of physical tests, including a timed 300-meter sprint and push-ups.

How many people does the FBI employ?

The FBI employs nearly 30,000 men and women, including 12,000 special agents. The agency relies on both foreign and domestic intelligence information to aid its anti-terror operations. However, as a law-enforcement authority, the FBI only has jurisdiction in interstate or federal crimes.

What is the most popular file in the FBI vault?

The file was an unconfirmed report from an Air Force investigator, which said, "They [the saucers] were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in metallic cloth of a very fine texture."

How many files are available for you to read in the the vault due to the Freedom of Information Act?

There are 67,000 or more (there's more added all the time) files available to read in the FBI vault. From music icons and celebrities to organized crime, so many people were investigated by the FBI over the years.

What is the FBI vault?

The FBI vault is a high-tech electronic reading room that houses all kinds of bureau records released under the Freedom of Information Act.

When was this investigative arm created?

The Bureau of Investigation (BOI) was created on July 26, 1908 and was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935.

What minimum education requirement must be satisfied to be an FBI agent?

FBI candidates must hold a four-year degree from a college or university accredited by one of the institutional associations recognized by the United States Secretary of Education.

You've never committed a crime, but your fingerprints are in FBI's Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). How is that?

Yep, the FBI has your fingerprints in their Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). This database of more than 100 million fingerprints is located in a huge data campus in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

What is the most common evidence the FBI collects from crime scenes?

More than 5,000 samples of human and animal hair have been collected from crime scenes. Investigators compare the hair to the cataloged hair on file to determine with relative certainty its ethnicity and from which part of the body it came.

What do Forensic Document Examiners do?

Forensic Document Examiners do all the above as well as decode tire tread and shoe prints and determine various office machines that may have created a document.

How does the FBI choose the criminals to picture on the their Most Wanted list?

They're often chosen based on looks. According to New York Times reporter Michael S. Schmidt, "bureau officials…[try] to select…dangerous fugitives who…could be recognized by the public because they have distinctive physical features," such as a scar, multiple tattoos or a strangely shaped face.

Can you become an FBI agent if you have a past history of recreational drugs?

If candidates haven't smoked pot for three years or used another illegal drug during the last ten years, they can apply for a position in the FBI.

What song was investigated for more than a year by the FBI?

This song was the subject of an FBI investigation that ran for more than two years during the mid-1960s because the FBI were concerned the lyrics were pornographic. Ultimately, the G-Men determined the lyrics were unintelligible.

What food held great interest to the FBI in 2005 and 2006?

In 2005 and 2006, FBI checked grocery store records for falafel purchases to find Iranian secret agents. The thought was that a spike in falafel sales, combined with other data, would lead to Iranian secret agents in the south San Francisco-San Jose area.

In 1964, mafia capo Gregory Scarpa was recruited by the FBI to do what?

He was used to get information on the murders of three civil rights activists by the KKK using extrajudicial methods. He attained the location of the bodies by pistol whipping a Klansman and putting a gun in his mouth.

What movie was considered communist propaganda due to its anti-capitalist/banking themes?

In the 1940s, the FBI considered the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" communist propaganda due to its supposed subversive anti-capitalist/banking themes.

What types of tests are involved in gaining entry into the FBI?

Phase 1 Testing consists of a number of written tests. Those with specialized experience may also need to take additional tests to verify their expertise in the field. Phase 2 Testing includes a writing test and an in-person interview conducted by a panel of FBI Special Agents.

The 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed he had stuffed explosives where?

The 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed sent the FBI on a wild goose chase by claiming that some geese in Central Park had explosives stuffed inside them.

What did the FBI send Martin Luther King Jr. in a letter in 1964 to intimidate him?

In 1964, FBI sent Martin Luther King Jr. a letter along with a cassette that contained allegedly incriminating audio recordings of King with women in various hotel rooms.

Which of these people was considered a radical socialist by the FBI?

Helen Keller was a radical socialist, and the FBI monitored her because of it.

What other requirements are there to be accepted into the FBI?

The FBI background check includes: a credit check; arrest check; polygraph examination and interviews with past employers, neighbors and personal and business references. The medical examination includes a vision and hearing test.

These days, how many years can the director of the FBI remain in office?

Due to J. Edgar Hoover's abuse of power, directors of the FBI are now limited to 10 years in office.

What was the name of the extreme surveillance program discovered by the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI in 1971?

In 1971, the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI broke into a FBI office in Pennsylvania and stole over 1000 documents and exposed the extreme surveillance program called COINTELPRO. The FBI shut down this program after documents were sent to the press.

What kind of hours do people work in FBI?

Depending on your position in the agency, you may work any of the listed hours. Today, the agency offers a part-time program, which allows an agent to work 16 to 32 hours a week for a better work/life balance.

How effective is the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List in bringing about arrests or locations of criminals?

Since the program's inception, 465 of the 494 criminals who have made it into the top 10 have been apprehended or located. That's a 94 percent efficiency rate!

When were woman allowed to serve as FBI agents?

In the 1920s, three women served in the FBI. However, Hoover did not allow women to be agents. After Hoover’s death in 1972, the FBI Academy admitted two female agents-in-training and have been enlisting women ever since.

What new investigative unit was added in 2004 to help the FBI identify fraud?

In 2004, the Bureau had one of the world's first art theft units. Its members, who learned how to identify fakes, have recovered more than 2,600 stolen items worth nearly $150 million.

Which of these critical skills will help an applicant move to the top of the pile?

There are actually 12 critical skills that will put your application at the top of the stack. Besides the above, these skills include foreign-language proficiency, engineering, intelligence experience, physical sciences experience, military experience and others.

Which of these statements describes the FBI Crime Laboratory?

Although today it is one of the largest crime laboratories in the world, the FBI Laboratory started out as a one-man operation housed in a single room that doubled as a smoking lounge. Today, it employs 500 scientists and provides forensic services to state, local and federal agencies.

When the FBI investigated ESP (extrasensory perception), what was learned?

In the 1950s, several agents investigated extrasensory perception, or ESP, to analyze its potential as an espionage tool. The study was eventually dropped due to lack of scientific evidence.

How much work experience is needed, at the minimum, to be an FBI agent?

Candidates must have completed at least three years of professional work experience to apply for entry into the FBI.

Which of these comprise the FBI organization?

The organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is field-oriented, maintaining a network of 56 domestic field offices, 45 foreign posts and 400 satellite offices (resident agencies).

The designation that an assassination is a federal crime, and that the FBI has jurisdiction, came about due to which assassination?

When President Kennedy was assassinated, President Lyndon B. Johnson called in FBI agents to investigate the murder, setting the precedent for future legislation that designated assassination as a federal crime and granted the agency jurisdiction in assassination cases.

What happens when the FBI seizes bitcoins?

The FBI maintains their own Bitcoin wallet that consists of seized Bitcoins. The FBI keeps up with the times.

Explore More Quizzes

Image: South Agency / E+ / Getty IMages

About This Quiz

Don't be surprised if the FBI has your fingerprints. If you've ever applied for a job, purchased a gun or applied for a driver's license, the FBI knows who you are. In fact, they have over 100 million fingerprints located in a huge data campus in Clarksburg, West Virginia. And to find a match, it only takes 12 minutes to go through all those prints. 

The statistics about the size of the FBI crime laboratory and the worldwide reach of the FBI are impressive. But let's face it, we all want to know about their investigations into UFOs and ESP (extrasensory perception)! This quiz won't let you down. You'll also learn what song was investigated for two years (yes, a song, not a person) and how J. Edgar Hoover total control over the bureau for 48 years resulted in changes to the structure of the FBI. 

You'll be happy to know that because of the Freedom of Information Act, you can now see the FBI file on yourself (if you have one). But confidentially, if you want to know more about who is compiling your file, satisfy your need for top-secret stats by taking this FBI quiz now. It's for your eyes only. 

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!