National Crime Victimization Survey

National Crime Victimization Survey

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, is a national survey of approximately 49,000 [1] to 77,400 [2] households twice a year in the United States, on the frequency of crime victimization, as well as characteristics and consequences of victimization. The survey focuses on gathering information on the following crimes: assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, rape, and robbery. The survey results are used for the purposes of building a crime index. The NCVS survey is comparable to the British Crime Survey conducted in the United Kingdom.

The NCVS began in 1972 and was developed from work done by the National Opinion Research Center and the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. A key finding of the survey was the realization that many crimes were not reported to the police.



NCVS surveys households randomly selected from a stratified multistage cluster sample, with the interviews administered by the United States Census Bureau.[3] This methodology has some disadvantages for surveying domestic violence crimes, since the entire selected household (above age 12) is interviewed instead of just one member selected.[3] The selected household remains in the survey sample for three years, with interviews conducted every six months.[4] Critics also argue that there is no way to verify much of the information gathered.

NCVS also includes supplemental questions, which allow periodic questions to be asked regarding such topics as school violence or attitudes toward crime or police.[5]

In response to criticism of the survey design, the NCVS was redesigned in the late 1980s. The survey redesign also incorporated improved survey methodology and asks more direct questions. The redesign went through testing and evaluation before being fully implemented in the 1992-1993 survey.[6]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ BJS crime and victims statistics
  3. ^ a b Tjaden, P. and N. Thoennes (2000) (PDF). Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. National Institute of Justice. NCJ 183781. 
  4. ^ Wallace, Harvey (2004). Family Violence: Legal, Medical, and Social Perspectives. Allyn & Bacon. pp. 8. ISBN 0205418228. 
  5. ^ "National Crime Victimization Survey: Interviewing Manual for Field Representatives" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. February 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 
  6. ^ "National Crime Victimization Survey Redesign - Fact Sheet" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. October 1995. Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-06-21. 

Further reading

  • Lynch, J. P., & Addington, L. A. (2007). Understanding crime statistics: revisiting the divergence of the NCVS and UCR. Cambridge studies in criminology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521862042

External links

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