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Publication Effects of NIBRS on Crime Statistics

Ramona R. Rantala

July 1, 2000    NCJ 178890

Compares data from Federal Bureau of Investigation Summary Uniform Crime Reports and National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) for 1,131 agencies. Using data from 1991 to 1996, this study identifies which Index crime rates are most affected by NIBRS reporting and examines the extent to which rates change. The following underlying causes for these differences are investigated:

  • structural differences
  • non-uniform reporting practices
  • reporting errors
  • software coding errors

When comparing data from the same year for the jurisdictions in this study, NIBRS rates differ only slightly from Summary UCR -

  • Murder rates are the same
  • Rape, robbery, and aggravated assault rates in NIBRS are about 1% higher, on average, than in Summary UCR
  • NIBRS burglary rates are lower by an average 0.5%
  • NIBRS larceny rates are higher by an average 3.4%
  • NIBRS motor vehicle theft rates are higher by an average 4.5%

PDF (197K)
ASCII file (45K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 26K)
Codebooks and Datasets
Slide presentation of the results of this study presented at the NIBRS regional focus group meetings (PDF 51K)
To order paper version

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