Welcome to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) participant page. Thank you for taking the time to visit. The NCVS has been collecting data on threatened, attempted, and completed crimes reported and not reported to the police from all 50 states and the District of Columbia since 1973. The NCVS relies on participation from people like you across the country who help provide a complete picture of the types and amount of crime happening in the United States.
The NCVS is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Even if you have not been a victim of crime, your participation helps BJS understand crime and safety issues in different communities around the country.
What to Expect
If your Household is Selected
If you are selected to participate in the NCVS, you will receive a letter in the mail providing information on the survey and notifying you that a U.S. Census Bureau employee will contact you soon.
If you choose to participate, a U.S. Census Bureau representative will come to your home or call to interview you and any other household members age 12 or older. You can schedule the interview for a time that is convenient for you during the week or over the weekend. If you or anyone in your household would prefer to do the interview in a language other than English, a translator can be arranged to interview you in your preferred language. The survey generally takes about 25 minutes to complete, but that can vary depending on your unique experiences.
If you are identified as the household respondent, you will be asked to provide demographic information for all the people age 12 or older who live in the household. The U.S. Census Bureau representative uses this information to create the household roster and determine who else should be interviewed.
The survey collects information about whether you experienced certain types of crime and about your experiences. Each address is selected randomly to represent other similar households in the United States. To help us gain a clearer picture of who crime impacts and how it impacts different people and households, it is important to participate in the interview if you are selected, even if you have not experienced a crime and even if you did not report a crime you experienced to the police.
Everything You Share is Confidential
BJS and the U.S. Census Bureau are bound by law to protect your information. The agencies are not allowed to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Everything you share during the interview is confidential.
Once you complete the survey, your confidential data will be combined with data from thousands of other participants. These data are analyzed and used to report on trends and patterns in crime from year to year.
Generally, people from each selected address are interviewed once every 6 months over a 3-year period, for a total of seven interviews. If you move away while your address is still in the survey, we will interview the residents who move in. A small number of participants may be contacted sooner for a reinterview by a supervisor. Reinterviews are designed to verify that survey procedures are followed correctly and that survey responses were captured accurately.
Data from the NCVS are used to produce the annual report Criminal Victimization, as well as many other regular and special reports.
The NCVS tracks trends and patterns in crime reported and not reported to the police. By participating in the NCVS, you can make a real difference for communities across the nation.
The success and accuracy of the NCVS depend on your participation. Your household represents hundreds like it throughout the country. If you choose not to participate, we cannot simply choose another household to replace yours. As a result, there is a risk that households like yours may be underrepresented and the resulting data less accurate.
Your participation will help BJS understand crime and safety issues in different communities around the country. Data from this survey are used to provide information on many topics related to crime and victimization, including crime in schools, trends in violent crime, fraud and identity theft, stalking, and contact between police and the public. These data are available on BJS’s user-friendly NCVS Dashboard (N-DASH).
To learn more about the NCVS and why your participation is important, see these videos below.
Learn More about the NCVS (Adult Participants, English)
To schedule an appointment for an interview or to contact the U.S. Census Bureau, call the number on the letter you received, or the number provided by the U.S. Census Bureau field representative who visited your home.
- For questions about the NCVS, visit the NCVS page or contact the Bureau of Justice Statistics by emailing [email protected] or calling 202-307-0765.
- To verify that the NCVS is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's Our Surveys and Programs NCVS page.
- To verify that your address was selected for this survey, you can contact your U.S. Census Bureau Regional Office.
- To confirm that the person who called or visited you is employed by the U.S. Census Bureau, visit the Census Bureau Staff Search.
- For additional information, contact your U.S. Census Bureau Regional Office.
Advance Letter – English, Spanish (PDF 595K)
Thank you Letter (PDF 77K)
Brochure – English (PDF 50K)
Brochure – Spanish (PDF 73K)
Brochure – Arabic (PDF 588K)
Brochure – Chinese (PDF 562K)
Brochure – Korean (PDF 247K)
Brochure – Vietnamese (PDF 98K)
Resources for Victims
National Center for Victims of Crime
- 1-855-4VICTIM (1-855-484-2846)
Boys Town National Hotline
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
- 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
National Domestic Violence Hotline
- 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)
- 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
- Call or Text 988
The National Sexual Assault Hotline
- 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
The Trevor Project
Note: This list is not exhaustive and does not reflect endorsement by BJS.
Frequently Asked Questions
The NCVS asks whether people experienced crime in the last 6 months and asks about those experiences, regardless of whether they were reported to the police. It is the nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization and the only national source of information on crimes not reported to the police. Learn more.
Data from this survey are used to provide information on many topics related to crime and victimization for the population as a whole and provide information on topics including crime in schools, trends in violent crime, fraud and identity theft, stalking, and contact between police and the public. BJS can also use the NCVS to produce victimization estimates for segments of the population, such as females, the elderly, members of various racial and ethnic groups, and other population groups.
We selected your addresses, not you personally, to participate in the NCVS. A sample of addresses is scientifically selected to represent all households in the United States. If you move away while this address is still in the survey, we will interview the residents who move in.
Everything that you report during the interview is confidential. BJS and the U.S. Census Bureau are bound by law to protect your data. The U.S. Census Bureau and the BJS are not allowed to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household.
These laws are referred to as Title 13, United States Code, Section 8 (13 U.S.C § 8) and Title 34, United States Code, Section 10132 (34 U.S.C. § 10132).
All U.S. Census Bureau employees should identify themselves by name and show their credentials. U.S. Census Bureau interviewers who come to your home will be carrying a laptop with the U.S. Census Bureau logo on it to conduct the survey. If you receive a call and wish to verify that the caller is a U.S. Census Bureau employee, you can call one of our regional offices or use the staff search function on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website.
Your participation in the NCVS is voluntary. You can skip any questions that you don’t want to answer or stop the interview at any time.
Though your participation is voluntary, it will help BJS understand crime and safety issues in different communities around the country.
The interview will take about 25 minutes, but it can vary depending on your circumstances. You can schedule the interview for a time that is convenient for you during the week or over the weekend.
Yes. Interviewers may use a translator if the respondent prefers. An interpreter can be used if the respondent has a hearing impairment. A U.S. Census Bureau representative can arrange for a sign language interpreter to be available during the interview.
Your participation is important even if you have not experienced any crime. The success of this survey depends on your participation. Completed interviews from both victims and nonvictims are necessary to accurately measure how much crime occurs and who is impacted by it.
The responses that are collected from surveys conducted by U.S. Census Bureau field representatives and contact center staff are encrypted, which protects the information both in transit and on the U.S. Census Bureau’s servers.
Once you complete the survey, your confidential data will be combined with data from thousands of other participants. These data are then analyzed and used to report on trends and patterns in crime from year to year. View some of the most recent publications using NCVS data.