United Nations World Crime Surveys: Fourth Survey, 1986-1990 (ICPSR 6945)

Published: Mar 30, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
United Nations Office at Vienna. Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch



Version V1

The Fourth United Nations Survey, covering the years 1986-1990, was designed to increase knowledge regarding the incidence of reported crime and the structure of criminal justice systems, as a basis for improving the international exchange of information. The main objectives of the survey were to determine which data are generally available in national databases and to provide an instrument for strengthening cooperation among member states of the United Nations by putting the review and analysis of national crime-related data in a broader context. Variables describe combined police and prosecution expenditure by year and by country, number of police personnel by gender, total number of homicides by country and by city, number of assaults, rapes, robberies, thefts, burglaries, frauds, and embezzlements, amount of drug crime, number of people formally charged with crime, age of suspects, number and gender of prosecutors, number of individuals prosecuted and the types of crimes prosecuted for, gender and age of individuals prosecuted, types of courts, number of individuals convicted and acquitted, numbers sentenced to capital punishment and to various other punishments, number of convictions on various charges, number of individuals sentenced and in detention, number of prisoners, sentence lengths, and prison demographics.

United Nations Office at Vienna. Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch. United Nations World Crime Surveys:  Fourth Survey, 1986-1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR06945.v1

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

1986 -- 1990

1992-08 -- 1994-06

The Fourth Survey builds upon the three prior United Nations Crime Surveys. See also UNITED NATIONS WORLD CRIME SURVEYS: FIRST SURVEY, 1970-1975 AND SECOND SURVEY, 1975-1980 (ICPSR 9571). The Third Survey is forthcoming from ICPSR.

The Fourth Survey was distributed to all member states of the United Nations in August 1992. As of June 1994, 98 survey responses were received (a 73 percent response rate). During the validation phase, any data points that represented a 30 percent change from the surrounding years were recorded and resubmitted to the responding countries for verification. Validation requests were sent to 91 countries between January and May 1994. As of June 1994, 39 countries responded to the validation requests.

Member countries of the United Nations.

questionnaires filled out by representatives of member states at the United Nations Office at Vienna

census data, survey data, event/transaction data, and aggregate data



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.

1997-09-11 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.

2006-03-30 File CB6945.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.