National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Series

Investigator(s): Bureau of Justice Statistics

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) series was designed to achieve three primary objectives: to develop detailed information about the victims and consequences of crime, to estimate the number and types of crimes not reported to police, and to provide uniform measures of selected types of crime.

All persons in the United States 12 years of age and older were interviewed in each household sampled. Each respondent was asked a series of screen questions to determine if he or she was victimized during the six-month period preceding the first day of the month of the interview. Screen questions cover the following types of crimes, including attempts: rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

The data include type of crime; severity of the crime; injuries or losses; time and place of occurrence; medical expenses incurred; number, age, race, and sex of offender(s); and relationship of offender(s) to the victim (stranger, casual acquaintance, relative, etc.). Demographic information on household members includes age, sex, race, education, employment, median family income, marital status, and military history. A stratified multistage cluster sample technique was employed, with the person-level files consisting of a full sample of victims and a 10 percent sample of nonvictims for up to four incidents.

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

NACJD has prepared a resource guide on NCVS.

Years Produced: Updated annually