BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Terms & Definitions: Victims | Victim characteristics
Terms & Definitions: Victim characteristics

Age category
The appropriate age category is determined by the respondent's age on the last day of the month preceding the interview.

Annual household income
The total household income for the 12 months preceding the interview. Includes wages, salaries, net income from businesses or farms, pensions, interest, dividends, rent, and any other source of monetary income of the head of household and all household members.

A classification based on Hispanic culture and origin, regardless of race. Persons are asked directly if they are Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino before being asked about their racial category.

A person who describes himself as Mexican American, Chicano, Mexican, Mexicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central American, South American, or from some other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Marital status
Every person is assigned to one of the following classifications: (1) married, which includes persons in common-law unions and those who are currently living apart for reasons other than marital discord (employment, military service, etc.); (2) separated or divorced, which includes married persons who are legally separated and those who are not living together because of marital discord; (3) widowed; and (4) never married, which includes persons whose marriages have been annulled and those who are living together and not in a common-law union.

Persons who report their culture or origin as something other than "Hispanic" as defined above. This distinction is made regardless of race.

Prevalence rate
Number of persons or households per 1,000 who experienced at least one victimization during the year.

For this survey respondents self identify with one or more racial categories. Racial categories for this report are white only, black only, and other race only. The "other" category is composed of Asian Pacific Islanders, and American Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos, if only one of these races is given. Persons reporting two or more races are included in the category of "more than one race". The race of the head of household is use for computing household crime demographics.

The recipient of a criminal act, usually used in relation to personal crimes, but also applicable to households.

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