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National Crime Victimization Survey

Description

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 240,000 interviews on criminal victimization, involving 160,000 unique persons in about 95,000 households. Persons are interviewed on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States.

The NCVS collects information on nonfatal personal crimes (i.e., rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and personal larceny) and household property crimes (i.e., burglary/trespassing, motor-vehicle theft, and other types of theft) both reported and not reported to the police. Survey respondents provide information about themselves (e.g., age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, education level, and income) and whether they experienced a victimization.

For each victimization incident, the NCVS collects information about:

  • the offender, including age, race and Hispanic origin, sex, and victim-offender relationship
  • characteristics of the crime, including time and place of occurrence, if weapons were used, the nature of any injury sustained by a victim, and economic consequences to the victim related to their victimization
  • whether the crime was reported to police
  • reasons the crime was or was not reported
  • and victim experiences with the criminal justice system.

The survey has been ongoing since 1973. For more information, see the NCVS data collection page. 

 


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