National Incident-Based Reporting System, 2020: Extract Files (ICPSR 38566)

Version Date: Nov 22, 2022 View help for published

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United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics


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NIBRS, 2020

The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is a part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). NIBRS is an annual data collection that compiles information on criminal incidents and arrests reported by participating law enforcement agencies. NIBRS data as formatted by the FBI are stored as a series of single files organized by various segment levels (record types). There are six main segment levels: administrative, offense, property, victim, offender, and arrestee. Each segment level has a different length and layout. Significant computing resources are necessary to work with the data in its single-file format. In addition, the user must be knowledgeable about working with data in complex file types. The extract files version of the NIBRS files was created to simplify working with NIBRS data. Data management issues with NIBRS are significant, especially when two or more segment levels are being merged. For these reasons and the desire to facilitate the use of NIBRS data, ICPSR created the extract files. The data are not a nationally representative sample of crime in the United States.

United States. Bureau of Justice Statistics. National Incident-Based Reporting System, 2020: Extract Files. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-11-22.

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


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

  1. Starting with the 2012 data, some offense, location, bias motivation, race, and ethnicity codes have been added or modified to include policy mandates to the FBI UCR Program related to Human Trafficking, Hate Crime, and Race and Ethnicity information, as required by the FBI's Advisory Policy Board (APB) and by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

  2. At the recommendation of the FBI APB and with the approval of the FBI Director, the FBI UCR Program initiated the collection of rape data under a revised definition and removed the term "forcible" from the offense name in 2013. The changes bring uniformity to the offense in both the Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the NIBRS by capturing data (1) without regard to gender, (2) including penetration of any bodily orifice by any object or body part, and (3) including offenses where physical force is not involved. As a result of this decision, the program renamed the NIBRS sex offenses - Forcible Rape to Rape, Forcible Sodomy to Sodomy, and Forcible Fondling to Fondling.

  3. For years 1991 to 2016, the NIBRS extract files were created by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. For 1991 to 2016, the NIBRS extract files include four datasets: 1) Incident-Level File, 2) Victim-Level File, 3) Offender-Level File, and 4) Arrestee-Level File.

    Starting with the 2017 data, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and RTI International created the NIBRS extract files. Starting in 2017, the NIBRS extract files include five datasets: 1) Batch Header File, 2) Administrative File, 3) Incident-Level File, 4) Victim-Level File, and 5) Arrestee-Level File.

  4. An Offender-Level File is not available as part of this data collection at this time.

  5. At the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board, the UCR Program combined the offense categories of Sex Offenses [formerly Forcible] and Sex Offenses, Nonforcible. Beginning with the 2018 data, all offense types previously published in those two categories are now published in one category as Sex Offenses.


NIBRS is an incident-based reporting system that collects data on each single crime incident occurrence. NIBRS data are designed to be generated as a by-product of local, State, and Federal automated records management systems. Thus, an agency can build its own system to suit its individual needs, including all the information required for administrative and operational purposes. Only the data required by NIBRS are then reported to the FBI UCR Program.

NIBRS collects data on each crime incident and arrest within 24 offense categories made up of 52 specific crimes called Group A offenses. For each of the offenses recorded by law enforcement, various facts about the crime are collected. In addition to the Group A offenses, there are 11 Group B offense categories for which only arrest data are reported.

Central to NIBRS is the concept of a crime incident. An incident is defined for NIBRS reporting purposes as one or more offenses committed by the same offender, or group of offenders acting in concert, at the same time and place. "Acting in concert" requires that the offenders actually commit or assist in the commission of the crime(s). The offenders must be aware of, and consent to, the commission of the crime(s); or even if nonconsenting, their actions assist in the commission of the offense(s). This is important because all of the offenders in an incident are considered to have committed all of the offenses in the incident. If one or more of the offenders did not act in concert, then there is more than one incident involved.

The phrase "same time and place" means that the time interval between the offenses and the distance between the locations where they occurred were insignificant. Normally, the offenses must have occurred during an unbroken period of time and at the same or adjoining location(s). However, incidents can also consist of offenses which by their nature involve continuing criminal activity by the same offender(s) at different times and places, as long as the activity is deemed to constitute a single criminal transaction.


Law enforcement agencies in the United States participating in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

Dataset one - Batch Header Segment, Dataset four - Victim, Dataset three - Incident, Dataset five - Arrestee, Dataset two - Administrative Segment


2022-11-22 Value labels were added to previously undocumented codes in the Incident-Level File (DS3), Victim-Level File (DS4), and Arrestee-Level File (DS5). Values in the "TYPE CRIMINAL ACTIVITY/GANG INFO" and "RELATIONSHIP VIC TO OFF" variables were updated in the Incident-Level File (DS3). Minor changes were made to the corresponding codebooks.



  • 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.