BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  A-Z Topic List
 
 
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Publication & Product Detail
Publication Is Crime Seasonal?

Carolyn Rebecca Block

January 1, 1984    NCJ 92936

Any discussion of seasonal changes in crime must be qualified by several considerations: the place, the crime's conceptual and operational definitions, circumstances relating to public or private crime, and numerical aspects of the series that would increase the likelihood of significant results. Specifically, researchers should look at the length of the data series; whether local, State, or national level data are appropriate; and whether the crime occurs seasonally or is reported seasonally. The report summarizes findings on the seasonal fluctuations in homicide, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, and auto theft. Seasonal fluctuations for most types of homicides appear too weak to affect practical administrative decisions. The report suggests that robbery and assault do not vary seasonally, but that less serious crimes of this type are reported to the police more frequently in the summer months. Data show burglary to be strongly seasonal in New York City and the United States as a whole, but not in Chicago. Of all the crime types analyzed, Index larceny/theft seems to have the most consistent seasonal pattern. Seasonal fluctuation or lack of fluctuation may provide clues to the ways a crime is defined, data collection methods, and recordkeeping processes. An annotated bibliography of published and unpublished works on seasonality from the 1960's to the present is provided.

PDF

Help for using BJS products

To cite this product, use the following link:
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=3479

View All Publications and Products


Back to Top