Testing Theories of Criminality and Victimization in Seattle, 1960-1990 (ICPSR 9741)

Principal Investigator(s): Miethe, Terance D.


The primary objective of this study was to test criminal opportunity theories of victimization and the collective benefits or harm resulting from citizen-based crime control activities. Other areas of investigation included crime displacement, "free-rider" effects (i.e., crimes occurring in conjunction with other crimes), and a multilevel analysis of victimization risks. Two types of data were gathered for this collection. First, census tract data were used to identify tracts that had not changed their physical boundaries since 1960. In addition, statistics were gathered from police reports for the same years. Variables for the census tract data (Part 1) include median family income in constant 1980 dollars, average number of persons per occupied housing unit, percent of labor force taking public transportation to work, percent of children under 18 living with both parents, and percent of civilian labor force that was female. Police report variables in Part 1 include rates per 100,000 population for homicide, rape, robbery, assault, residential burglary, and automobile theft. Secondly, during a telephone survey of Seattle residents conducted in 1990, respondents were asked a variety of questions about their experiences with crime and victimization. These data, presented in Part 2, cover burglaries, stolen property, physical assaults by strangers, vandalism, car thefts, type of neighborhood, type of home, security measures taken, and sociodemographic conditions. The unit of analysis for this data collection is housing units.

Access Notes

  • 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.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Raw Data for Census Tracts, 1960-1980 - Download All Files (0.268 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   
DS2:  Raw Data for Telephone Survey - Download All Files (9.797 MB)
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup   

Study Description


Miethe, Terance D. TESTING THEORIES OF CRIMINALITY AND VICTIMIZATION IN SEATTLE, 1960-1990. 2nd ICPSR version. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute [producer], 1991. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09741.v2

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09741.v2

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-8821407)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    citizen participation, citizen patrols, crime control, crime rates, criminality, neighborhoods, victimization

Geographic Coverage:    Seattle, Washington, United States

Universe:    For the telephone survey, households in Seattle with telephones in 1990. For the census data, census tracts in Seattle that had not changed their physical boundaries since 1960.

Data Type(s):    survey data, and census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

The codebook and data collection instrument 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 through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.


Sample:    Multistage clustered sampling of 600 selected city blocks and immediate neighbors on these blocks in 100 census tracts in Seattle, WA. Interviews were completed with 5,302 residents of these blocks/neighborhoods.

Data Source:

telephone interviews and official records

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.


Original ICPSR Release:   1992-05-12

Version History:

  • 2006-03-30 File CB9741.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.
  • 1998-05-01 Missing data codes in this collection have been standardized, and the data have been reformatted from card image to logical record length. Also, SAS and SPSS data definition statements were created for this collection, and the codebook has been reformatted and is now available as a PDF file.

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