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NCVS Participant Page



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

Your Experiences Matter!

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.

Why Participate

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. 

Contact Us

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.

Participant Materials

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

Victim Connect

Boys Town National Hotline

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

Eldercare Locator

National Domestic Violence Hotline

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The National Sexual Assault Hotline

The Trevor Project

Note: This list is not exhaustive and does not reflect endorsement by BJS.

Frequently Asked Questions

Date Created: July 18, 2022