U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Criminal Victimization in the United States: 1973-92 Trends

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1994
Between 1973 and 1992, data from National Crime Surveys of rapes, robberies, assaults, and thefts on over 748 million criminal victimizations showed that crime levels and victimization rates fluctuated.

Over 41 million personal and household crimes were committed in 1981, compared to more than 33 million in 1992. The violent crime victimization rate increased between 1977 and 1981; after 1982, this rate declined until it reached its low between 1986 and 1989. By 1992, however, the violent crime victimization rate had risen to 32.1 crimes per 1,000. The rate of personal theft victimization increased significantly in 1974 to 95.1 thefts per 1,000 persons and remained near this level through 1978. After this point, the rate declined steadily through 1985. The rate of personal theft victimization changed little until it decreased significantly in 1991 and 1992. Household victimization rates fluctuated between 1973 and 1981. The rate dropped significantly to 208.2 crimes per 1,000 households in 1982 and again in 1983 and 1984. Between 1985 and 1989, household victimization rates remained stable but declined again in 1990 and 1992. At 152 crimes per 1,000 households, the 1992 rate was the lowest household crime rate ever recorded. Specific data are provided on fluctuations in the incidence of rape, robbery, assault, personal theft, burglary, household larceny, and motor vehicle theft. Trends in violent crimes, theft, household crimes, and crimes reported to the police are analyzed. Appendixes contain survey data tables and information on the survey methodology. A glossary is included.

Date Published: July 17, 1994