United Nations World Crime Surveys: First Survey, 1970-1975 and Second Survey, 1975-1980 (ICPSR 9571)

Version Date: Jan 12, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Graeme Newman; Bruce DiCristina



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The United Nations began its World Crime Surveys in 1978. The first survey collected statistics on a small range of offenses and on the criminal justice process for the years 1970-1975. The second survey collected data on a wide range of offenses, offenders, and criminal justice process data for the years 1975-1980. Several factors make these two collections difficult to use in combination. Some 25 percent of those countries responding to the first survey did not respond to the second and, similarly, some 30 percent of those responding to the second survey did not respond to the first. In addition, many questions asked in the second survey were not asked in the first survey. This data collection represents the efforts of the investigators to combine, revise, and recheck the data of the first two surveys. The data are divided into two parts. Part 1 comprises all data on offenses and on some criminal justice personnel. Crime data are entered for 1970 through 1980. In most cases 1975 is entered twice, since both surveys collected data for this year. Part 2 includes data on offenders, prosecutions, convictions, and prisons. Data are entered for 1970 through 1980, for every even year.

Newman, Graeme, and DiCristina, Bruce. United Nations World Crime Surveys:  First Survey, 1970-1975 and Second Survey, 1975-1980. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-12. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09571.v1

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics
1970 -- 1980

The documentation for Part 1 indicates a total of 91 cases (countries). The data, however, indicate a total of 101 cases. (countries). These ten additional countries are Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Honduras, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Vanuatu. Similarly, the documentation for Part 2 indicates a total of 91 cases (countries), but there are actually 96. The five additional countries are Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar, Honduras, and Vanuatu. The original documentation further indicates 30 records per case. Two countries in Part 1, however, fall short of 30 records per case: Algeria and Mauritius. Algeria is missing one record and Mauritius is missing 2 records. For both parts, where substantial discrepancies occurred between the validation data collected through the questionnaire, the questionnaire data were entered, unless they appeared to deviate substantially from the overall pattern of the data. This occurred in only a few instances. The following crime categories could not be made comparable between the first and second surveys: rape, drugs, judges, and totals. The term "rape" was not used in the first survey. Instead, the phrase "sex offenses" was used. In the first survey, the phrase "substance abuse" was used, and the responses broken down into "drugs" and "alcohol." The data recorded for the first survey are for "substance abuse" with alcohol excluded. The nearest equivalent to substance abuse in the second survey was the category "drug crimes." However, the first survey also requested data on "illegal traffic in drugs." This was not requested in the second survey, although the variables are included in this data set, and some data were entered into them from the validation questionnaires. The first survey did not define "judges." Consequently, no distinction was made between professional and lay judges. The data of the second survey report only professional judges. Total crimes was a separate category in both surveys. It does not necessarily equal the sum of the other crime categories collected in the survey. In some developing countries, for example, often the gross total of all crimes was the only information available.

Member countries of the United Nations.

These data represent the official statistics of member countries of the United Nations and are drawn from the following sources: (1) FIRST AND SECOND UNITED NATIONS WORLD CRIME SURVEYS, (2) UNITED NATIONS QUESTIONNAIRE ON THE PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF VIOLENCE, (3) UNITED NATIONS WORLD CRIME SURVEY VALIDATION QUESTIONNAIRE, (4) Yearbooks, Annual Reports, and Statistical Abstracts

survey data, and aggregate data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Newman, Graeme, and Bruce DiCristina. UNITED NATIONS WORLD CRIME SURVEYS: FIRST SURVEY, 1970-1975 AND SECOND SURVEY, 1975-1980. Albany, NY: State University of New York, School of Criminal Justice [producer], 1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1991. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09571.v1

2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 3 and flagged as study-level files, so that they 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.