The Source for Crime and Justice Data

United Nations World Surveys on Crime Trends and Criminal Justice Systems, 1970-1994: Restructured Five-Wave Data (ICPSR 2513) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

The United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch began the Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (formerly known as the World Crime Surveys) in 1978. The goal of the data collection effort was to conduct a more focused inquiry into the incidence of crime worldwide. To date, there have been five quinquennial surveys, covering the years 1970-1975, 1975-1980, 1980-1986, 1986-1990, and 1990-1994, respectively. Starting with the 1980 data, the waves overlap by one year to allow for reliability and validity checks of the data. For this data collection, the original United Nations data were restructured into a standard contemporary file structure, with each file consisting of all data for one year. Naming conventions were standardized, and each country and each variable was given a unique identifying number. Crime variables include counts of recorded crime for homicide, assault, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking, drug possession, bribery, and corruption. There are also counts of suspects, persons prosecuted, persons convicted, and prison admissions by crime, gender, and adult or juvenile status. Other variables include the population of the country and largest city, budgets and salaries for police, courts, and prisons, and types of sanctions, including imprisonment, corporal punishment, deprivation of liberty, control of freedom, warning, fine, and community sentence. The countries participating in the survey and the variables available vary by year.

Series: United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems Series

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

WARNING: Because this study has many datasets, the download all files option has been suppressed, and you will need to download one dataset at a time.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
Documentation:
DS1:  Wave I, 1970 Data - Download All Files (876 KB)
DS2:  Wave I, 1971 Data - Download All Files (876 KB)
DS3:  Wave I, 1972 Data - Download All Files (876 KB)
DS4:  Wave I, 1973 Data - Download All Files (883 KB)
DS5:  Wave I, 1974 Data - Download All Files (877 KB)
DS6:  Wave I, 1975 Data - Download All Files (881 KB)
DS7:  Wave II, 1975 Data - Download All Files (4,324 KB)
DS8:  Wave II, 1976 Data - Download All Files (4,318 KB)
DS9:  Wave II, 1977 Data - Download All Files (4,330 KB)
DS10:  Wave II, 1978 Data - Download All Files (4,319 KB)
DS11:  Wave II, 1979 Data - Download All Files (4,331 KB)
DS12:  Wave II, 1980 Data - Download All Files (4,325 KB)
DS13:  Wave III, 1980 Data - Download All Files (3,758 KB)
DS14:  Wave III, 1981 Data - Download All Files (3,758 KB)
DS15:  Wave III, 1982 Data - Download All Files (3,609 KB)
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DS16:  Wave III, 1983 Data - Download All Files (3,764 KB)
DS17:  Wave III, 1984 Data - Download All Files (3,611 KB)
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DS18:  Wave III, 1985 Data - Download All Files (3,774 KB)
DS19:  Wave III, 1986 Data - Download All Files (3,612 KB)
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DS20:  Wave IV, 1986 Data - Download All Files (3,760 KB)
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DS21:  Wave IV, 1987 Data - Download All Files (3,635 KB)
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DS22:  Wave IV, 1988 Data - Download All Files (3,690 KB)
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DS23:  Wave IV, 1989 Data - Download All Files (3,637 KB)
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DS24:  Wave IV, 1990 Data - Download All Files (3,741 KB)
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DS25:  Wave V, 1990 Data - Download All Files (3,734 KB)
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DS26:  Wave V, 1991 Data - Download All Files (4,018 KB)
DS27:  Wave V, 1992 Data - Download All Files (3,647 KB)
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DS28:  Wave V, 1993 Data - Download All Files (4,017 KB)
DS29:  Wave V, 1994 Data - Download All Files (3,726 KB)
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DS30:  Text Comments for Wave III
Documentation:
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS31:  Text Comments for Wave IV
Documentation:
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS32:  Text Comments for Wave V
Documentation:
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No downloadable data files available.
DS33:  Merged 1970-1994 Data - Download All Files (6,907 KB)
Documentation:
Data:
Analyze Online:
SDA

Study Description

Citation

Burnham, R.W., and Helen Burnham. UNITED NATIONS WORLD SURVEYS ON CRIME TRENDS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, 1970-1994: RESTRUCTURED FIVE-WAVE DATA. ICPSR02513-v1. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice [producer], 1997. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. doi:10.3886/ICPSR02513.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (97-MU-CX-0002)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   acquittals, assault, burglary, convictions (law), courts, correctional facilities, courts, crime, crime patterns, crime prevention, crime rates, crime reporting, criminal justice policy, criminal justice system, drug related crimes, drug traffic, embezzlement, fraud, international crime statistics, larceny, law enforcement, nations, offenders, offenses, police reports, population characteristics, prosecution, punishment, rape, robbery, sanctions, sentencing, trends, United Nations

Geographic Coverage:   Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, Global

Time Period:  

  • 1970--1994

Date of Collection:  

  • 1997

Unit of Observation:   Countries.

Universe:   All countries.

Data Types:   aggregate data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The user guide, codebooks, and data collection instruments are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided on the ICPSR Web site. (2) While the United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch originally collected these data, this particular data collection is not an official product of the United Nations. For more information on the original United Nations data, users are advised to consult the United Nations Crime and Justice Information Network.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   The United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch began the Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (formerly known as the World Crime Surveys) in 1978. The goal of the data collection effort was to conduct a more focused inquiry into the incidence of crime worldwide. To date, there have been five quinquennial surveys, covering the years 1970-1975, 1975-1980, 1980-1986, 1986-1990, and 1990-1994, respectively. Starting with 1980, the waves overlap by one year to allow for reliability and validity checks of the data. For this data collection, the file structure and naming conventions were standardized across waves to facilitate cross-national comparisons and other analyses.

Study Design:   This data collection reconfigured the original United Nations data into a standard contemporary file structure, with each file consisting of all data for one year. The data received from the United Nations were entered into a computerized dataset, using SAS on a mainframe for the second survey and SPSS PC+ for the third and subsequent waves. Each country and each variable was given a unique identifying number. Some of the variables in the original dataset were not maintained in this version, because the principal investigators decided that they had no value or potential for analysis. This applies particularly to the first three surveys, where some variables were difficult to interpret and others contained almost no data. The original datasets, in the original configuration, are held by the United Nations office in Vienna, and can be requested by anyone with a particular interest in any of the variables omitted from this collection.

Sample:   The surveys were distributed to member and nonmember states of the United Nations and completed on a voluntary basis.

Data Source:

(1) FIRST UNITED NATIONS WORLD CRIME SURVEY, 1970-1975, (2) SECOND UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS, OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, AND CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES, 1975-1980, (3) THIRD UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS, OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, AND CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES, 1980-1986, (4) FOURTH UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS AND OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, 1986-1990, (5) FIFTH UNITED NATIONS SURVEY OF CRIME TRENDS AND OPERATIONS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS, 1990-1994, all conducted by the United Nations International Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch

Description of Variables:   Crime variables include counts of recorded crime for homicide, assault, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking, drug possession, bribery, and corruption. There are also counts of suspects, persons prosecuted, persons convicted, and prison admissions by crime, gender, and adult or juvenile status. Other variables include the population of the country and largest city, budgets and salaries for police, courts, and prisons, and types of sanctions, including imprisonment, corporal punishment, deprivation of liberty, control of freedom, warning, fine, and community sentence.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

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:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File UG2513.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File UG2513.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File UG2513.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File UG2513.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File UG2513.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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