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Criminal Victimization, 2022

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2023, 10:00 AM ET                  Contact: OJP MEDIA
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U.S. nonfatal violent victimization rate returns to prepandemic levels

WASHINGTON ― The rate of nonfatal violent victimization in the United States rose to 23.5 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2022, after reaching a 30-year low of 16.4–16.5 during 2020–2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ new report Criminal Victimization, 2022. Nonfatal violent victimization, as measured by the National Crime Victimization Survey, includes rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. While the 2022 annual violent crime rates reached prepandemic levels, the last 3 decades saw an overall decline in the violent victimization rate from 79.8 to 23.5 per 1,000 from 1993 to 2022.

“These findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey show that the 2022 rate of nonfatal violent victimization increased compared to 2021, but was similar to the rate in 2018 and remained much lower than the highs of the early 1990s,” said Kevin M. Scott, PhD, Principal Deputy Director of BJS.

The rate of nonfatal violent victimization reported to police followed a similar pattern as seen with the overall violent victimization rate. In 2022, this rate rose to 9.7 reported violent victimizations per 1,000 persons from 7.5 per 1,000 in 2021. Similarly, this rate trended downward during the past 30 years, falling from 33.8 (1993) to 9.7 (2022) reported victimizations per 1,000 persons.

“Among all violent victimizations in 2022, about 2 in 5 were reported to police, which was about the same share as in 2021,” noted Dr. Scott.

Although the percentage of violent victimizations reported to police in 2022 (42%) was not statistically different from 2021, there were some significant decreases in reporting for certain types of crime. For example, reporting of assaults overall fell from 46% to 41% of victimizations from 2021 to 2022, partly due to reduced reporting of aggravated assaults (from 61% to 50%). Declines were also observed in the percentage of stranger violence (from 48% to 36% of victimizations) and violent crime with a weapon (from 61% to 52%) reported to police.

Households in the United States experienced 13.4 million property victimizations in 2022, up from 11.7 million in 2021 but similar to the number in 2018. Property crime includes burglary, trespassing, motor vehicle theft, and other types of household theft. Motor vehicle theft victimization increased from a rate of 4.3 victimizations per 1,000 households in 2021 to 5.5 per 1,000 in 2022.

Victims received assistance from a victim service provider in 9% of all violent victimizations in 2022. From 2021 to 2022, the share of violent victimizations where victim service provider assistance was received did not change significantly.

Findings are from the National Crime Victimization Survey, a self-report survey administered annually from January 1 to December 31. Annual NCVS estimates are based on the number and characteristics of crimes that respondents experienced during the prior 6 months, excluding the month in which they were interviewed. The survey collects information on threatened, attempted, and completed crimes and on crimes reported and not reported to police.

Criminal Victimization, 2022, written by BJS Statisticians Alexandra Thompson and Susannah N. Tapp, PhD; related documents; and additional information about BJS’s statistical publications and programs are available on the BJS website at bjs.ojp.gov.

About the Bureau of Justice Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs is the principal federal agency responsible for collecting, analyzing and disseminating reliable statistics on crime and criminal justice in the United States. Kevin M. Scott, PhD, Principal Deputy Director of BJS, is the acting agency head. More information about BJS and criminal justice statistics can be found at bjs.ojp.gov.

About the Office of Justice Programs

The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance, and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime; advance equity and fairness in the administration of justice; assist victims; and uphold the rule of law. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

Date Published: September 14, 2023