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Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Victims of Crime

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 4:00 P.M. EDT Bureau of Justice Statistics
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2009 Contact: Kara McCarthy 202-307-1241
bjs.gov After hours: 781-308-3696


WASHINGTON - The nation’s Asian, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander population had the lowest rates of violent and property victimizations among all racial and ethnic groups between 2002 and 2006, according to a study released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders comprised about four percent of the U.S. population between 2002 and 2006 but were victims in two percent of nonfatal violent crimes and three percent of property crimes per year.

Among Asians (referring to Native Hawaiians, other Pacific Islanders, and persons having origin in the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent), the average annual rate of nonfatal violent victimization (including rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault) was about 11 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older, compared to 24 per 1,000 among non-Asians. The average annual rate of property victimization (including household burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft) among Asian households was 115 per 1,000 households, compared to 162 per 1,000 non-Asian households.

Asians were victims in 340 homicides during 2006 or about two percent of all murders in that year. Asian homicide victims were typically male or age 30 or younger. Nearly 3 in 4 Asian homicide victims were males, and about half of all Asian homicide victims were age 30 or younger.

In homicides with a single victim and a single offender, Asian victims (50 percent) were less likely to be murdered by someone of the same race than white victims (78 percent) or black victims (92 percent).

Serious nonfatal violent crime (excludes simple assault) made up about 44 percent of all nonfatal violent crime against Asians between 2002 and 2006. This was higher than the percentage for whites and similar to the percentages for blacks and Hispanics. Asians were as likely as whites but at a lower risk than blacks or Hispanics to be victims of robbery.

Most nonfatal violent crimes against Asians were committed by strangers. An estimated 77 percent of violent crimes against Asian males (compared to 59 percent for non-Asian males) were committed by strangers. About half of violent crimes against Asian females were committed by strangers, compared to 34 percent for non-Asian females.

The percentage of violent crime committed by intimate partners (current or former spouses, boyfriends, or girlfriends, including same-sex relationships) against Asian females (13 percent) was lower than that for non-Asian females (22 percent).

Offenses measured in the study include those reported to police as well as those that went unreported. About half of all nonfatal violent crimes against Asian victims were reported to police, a percentage similar to that of whites and Hispanics. About 40 percent of property crimes against Asian households were reported to the police, which was the same percentage found for white, black, and Hispanic households.

Asian households had lower rates of property crime than non-Asian households at nearly every income level and in every U.S. region.

The data in this report are based on BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Supplementary Homicide Reports.

The report, Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Victims of Crime (NCJ 225037), was written by BJS statistician Erika Harrell. Following publication, the report can be found at https://bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=380.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS Website at https://bjs.gov/.

The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. In addition, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at https://ojp.gov.



Date Published: March 25, 2009