It showed a 10.5% drop from the previous year, making it the lowest level of crime recorded since 1998.
Home Office experts say the latest figures show that offences are concentrated in hotspots - some of which have experienced localised increases in crime - and are not evenly spread around England and Wales.
They also say the figures mirror trends in falling crime seen throughout the developed world.
The annual report combines police-recorded crime and statistics from the British Crime Survey (BCS), a victimisation survey which asked 47,000 adults about their experience of crimes.
For the types it covers, the BCS can provide a better reflection of the true extent of crime because it includes ones that are not reported to the police and crimes which are not recorded by them.
The BCS showed the risk of being a victim of crime has fallen from 24 to 22%, the lowest level recorded since the survey began in 1981.
However, 65% of people said they thought rates had gone up nationally. But the same proportion again thought crime had fallen locally.
The overall picture from the survey was that crime was down 10% to 10.1 million crimes. It also showed that 947,000 violent offences were caused by alcohol.
Home Office Minister Tony McNulty said local communities and police should be "very encouraged" that their efforts to cut crime were paying off.
The home secretary, meanwhile, said the government had exceeded its reduction target, but was committed to doing more "so that everyone feels improvement".
She acknowledged that "knives are still being used in the most serious violent incidents" and said the Youth Crime Action plan published this week was part of a wider package of measures aimed at tackling the problem.
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