National Crime Victimization Survey, [United States], 2015 (ICPSR 36448)

Version Date: Jul 23, 2020 View help for published

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United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics


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  • V2 [2020-07-23]
  • V1 [2016-10-20] unpublished
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NCVS 2015

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) Series, previously called the National Crime Surveys (NCS), has been collecting data on personal and household victimization through an ongoing survey of a nationally-representative sample of residential addresses since 1973. The NCVS was designed with four primary objectives: (1) to develop detailed information about the victims and consequences of crime, (2) to estimate the number and types of crimes not reported to the police, (3) to provide uniform measures of selected types of crimes, and (4) to permit comparisons over time and types of areas. The survey categorizes crimes as "personal" or "property." Personal crimes include rape and sexual attack, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and purse-snatching/pocket-picking, while property crimes include burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and vandalism. Each respondent is asked a series of screen questions designed to determine whether she or he was victimized during the six-month period preceding the first day of the month of the interview. A "household respondent" is also asked to report on crimes against the household as a whole (e.g., burglary, motor vehicle theft). The data include type of crime, month, time, and location of the crime, relationship between victim and offender, characteristics of the offender, self-protective actions taken by the victim during the incident and results of those actions, consequences of the victimization, type of property lost, whether the crime was reported to police and reasons for reporting or not reporting, and offender use of weapons, drugs, and alcohol. Basic demographic information such as age, race, gender, and income is also collected, to enable analysis of crime by various subpopulations. This version of the NCVS, referred to as the collection year, contains records from interviews conducted in the 12 months of the given year.

United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Crime Victimization Survey, [United States], 2015. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-07-23.

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


This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

  1. In February 2018, several errors in classifying cases on the collapsed occupation code variable (V4482B) were discovered. The corrected data are only included in the NCVS 1992-2017 concatenated data file (study number 37198). Data users should download these files if they want to use this variable. More information on the corrected data are in the 1992-2017 codebook. The incorrect data are still in the NCVS 2011-2016 collection year and concatenated year files.

  2. The 2015 Collection Year Incident-Level Extract File was created from the record-type files and includes information on victims of crime; nonvictims are not included. Under the collection year format a crime incident is included based on when the interview is conducted, not on when the crime incident occurred.

  3. The data were collected by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

  4. Beginning with the 2011 collection year, data contain replicate weights for household, person, incident, and victimization to facilitate standard error computations given the sampling design of NCVS.

  5. Beginning with the 2012 collection year, data have a change in how the victimization totals are computed. Series crimes are now included with up to 10 occurrences.


Stratified multistage cluster sample.

All persons in the United States aged 12 and older.

crime incident, individual, household


2020-07-23 Datasets 2 (Household Record-Type File) and 3 (Person Record-Type File) updated with additional replicate weights. Codebook also updated with these new variables and explanatory information.

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:
  • United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Crime Victimization Survey, [United States], 2015. ICPSR36448-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-07-23.

2016-10-20 Codebook added to release.

2016-10-20 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.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

The data files include several weight variables used to calculate national estimates of: households, persons, victimizations, and incidents. The codebook describes how to use the weights.



  • 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.