National Crime Surveys: National Sample, 1979-1987 [Revised Questionnaire] (ICPSR 8608)

Published: Jun 17, 2004

Principal Investigator(s):
United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Version V7

The purpose of the National Crime Surveys is to provide data on the level of crime victimization in the United States and to collect data on the characteristics of crime incidents and victims. Information about each household and personal victimization was recorded. The data include type of crime, description of the offender, severity of crime, injuries or losses, and demographic characteristics of household members.

United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Crime Surveys:  National Sample, 1979-1987 [Revised Questionnaire]    . Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004-06-17.

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

1979 -- 1987

1979 -- 1988

The subset of rape cases includes attempts and completed rapes.

The codebooks and data collection instrument for this collection are provided by ICPSR 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.

Parts 1-7 as well as Parts 17 and 19 are hierarchically structured, with four levels. The first level, the household ID, has a logical record length of 54 characters and contains 8 variables. The second level, the household, has a logical record length of 204 with 89 variables. The third, or person, level has a logical record length of 142 and 57 variables, and the final level, the incident level, has a logical record length of 481 with 327 variables. The case counts per level are as follows: household level: 178,324 to 217,814 per part, person level: 316,094 to 393,685 per part, incident level: 28,564 to 43,959 per part. The person-level files contain data on all victims with a maximum of four incidents each, and a 10-percent sample of non-victims. The unit of analysis is the victim.

The National Crime Surveys data are organized by collection quarter, and six quarters comprise an annual file. For example, for the 1979 file the four quarters of 1979 are included, as well as the first two quarters of 1980.

Stratified multistage cluster sample.

All persons in the United States 12 years of age and older.

personal interviews

survey data



2004-06-17 All OSIRIS dictionaries have been replaced with SAS and SPSS data definition statements and PDF codebooks. Part 15 and parts 31 through 36 have been removed. Case counts for Parts 10, 28, and 29 have been corrected and the codebooks have been revised to reflect these changes.

2000-09-29 SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been added for Part 30, 1979-1987 Rape Subset, All Rape Cases, Incident-Level, Bounded by Calendar Year. Also, the data collection instrument was converted to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file and the codebooks are now available as PDF files as well.

1987-06-26 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.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • 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.

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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.