National Crime Victimization Survey, [United States], 2020 (ICPSR 38090)
Version Date: Oct 18, 2021 View help for published
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Summary View help for Summary
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.
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Geographic Coverage View help for Geographic Coverage
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Restrictions View help for Restrictions
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.
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Time Period(s) View help for Time Period(s)
Date of Collection View help for Date of Collection
Data Collection Notes View help for Data Collection Notes
The 2020 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.
The data were collected by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.
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.
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.
Sample View help for Sample
Stratified multistage cluster sample.
Universe View help for Universe
All persons in the United States aged 12 or older.
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Mode of Data Collection View help for Mode of Data CollectionHide
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Version History View help for Version History
2021-10-18 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 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.