The Source for Crime and Justice Data

National Crime Victimization Survey: MSA Data, 1979-2004 (ICPSR 4576)

Principal Investigator(s):


The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), previously the National Crime Survey (NCS), has been collecting data on personal and household victimization through an ongoing survey of a nationally-representative sample of residential addresses since 1973. The survey is administered by the United States Census Bureau (under the United States Department of Commerce) on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (under the United States Department of Justice). Occasionally there have been extract or supplement files created from the NCVS and NCS data series. This extract contains two data files, a weighted person-based file, and a weighted incident-based file, which contain the "core" counties within the top 40 National Crime Victimization Survey Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Core counties within these MSAs are defined as those self-representing primary sampling units that are common to the MSA definitions determined by the Office of Management and Budget for the 1970-based, 1980-based, and 1990-based sample designs. Each MSA is comprised of only the core counties and not all counties within the MSA. The person-based file contains select household and person variables for all people in NCVS-interviewed households in the core counties of the 40 largest MSAs from January 1979 through December 2004. The incident-based file contains select household, person, and incident variables for persons who reported a violent crime within any of the core counties of the 40 largest MSAs from January 1979 through December 2004. Household, person, and incident information for persons reporting non-violent crime are excluded from this file. The 40 largest MSAs were determined based on the number of household interviews in an MSA.

Series: National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Person File - Download All Files (1,076 MB) large dataset
DS2:  Incident File - Download All Files (749 MB) large dataset

Study Description


U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY: MSA DATA, 1979-2004. Conducted by U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. ICPSR04576-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 2007-01-15.

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Export Citation:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   assault, auto theft, burglary, crime, crime costs, crime rates, crime reporting, crime statistics, offenders, offenses, property crimes, rape, reactions to crime, robbery, sexual offenses, vandalism, victimization, victims

Smallest Geographic Unit:   MSA

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Time Period:  

  • 1979--2004

Date of Collection:  

  • 1979--2004

Unit of Observation:   household, person, crime incident

Universe:   Persons in the United States aged 12 and over in "core" counties within the top 40 National Crime Victimization Survey Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Documentation, in addition to what is contained in the codebook for this data collection, is available in the data collections for individual years of the NCVS.


Sample:   Stratified multistage cluster sample.

Weight:   The data files include three weight variables: household, person, and incident.

Mode of Data Collection:   face-to-face interview, computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited.


Original ICPSR Release:  

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