BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Race/ethnicity
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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, 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 used for computing household crime demographics. 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 is identified as Hispanic.

Summary findings

In 2008 —

  • The rate of violent victimization against blacks was 26 per 1,000 persons age 12 or older; for whites 18 per 1,000 and for persons of other races, 15 per 1,000.
  • Blacks were victims of rape/sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault at rates higher than those for whites.

Serious violent crime rates declined in recent years for both blacks and whites.

Trends in violent victimization by race - Links to full size chart

Trends in violent victimization by race, 1973 to 2008

 

According to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, in 2006 about 50% off murder victims were black, 47% were white, and 3% were Asians, Pacific Islander, and Native Americans.

See also Homicide Trends in the United States and Data Online for characteristics of homicide victims by State and large locality.

Blacks were more likely than whites to be victimized by a carjacking (3 versus 1 per 10,000 respectively) from 1993 to 2002.

Between 2002 and 2006, American Indians experienced violence at rates almost twice that of blacks, about 2 1/2 times that of whites, and more than 5 times that of Asians.

Asian Victims

    Between 2002 and 2006 --
  • Asians had the lowest rate of violent victimization among all racial or ethnic groups.
  • Asian males were at a slightly higher risk of violent victimization than Asian females.
  • Among victims, Asians were more likely than non-Asians to be violently victimized by a stranger.
  • Asian households had the lowest rate of property victimization among households of all racial or ethnic groups.
  • Property crimes against Asian households were as likely to be reported to the police as property crimes against white, black, or Hispanic households.

Black Victims

  • Blacks were victims of an estimated 805,000 nonfatal violent crimes and of about 8,000 homicides in 2005.
  • Blacks accounted for 13% of the U.S. population in 2005, but were victims in 15% of all nonfatal violent crimes and nearly half of all homicides.
  • During the 5-year period from 2001 to 2005, the average annual rate of nonfatal violent victimization against blacks was 29 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. For whites the rate was 23 per 1,000, and for Hispanics, 24 per 1,000.
  • Blacks were more likely than whites to be victimized by a carjacking (3 versus 1 per 10,000 respectively) 1993-2002.

American Indians

  • Between 2001 and 2005, American Indians experienced violence at rates more than twice that of blacks, 2 1/2 times that of whites, and more than 5 times that of Asians.
  • Rates of violent victimization for both males and females were higher for American Indians than for all other races.

Hispanic/Latino

During 2008 —

  • Hispanic persons were victims of about 565,000 crimes of violence; rape/sexual assault, robbery or aggravated or simple assault.

Publications & Products


Criminal Victimization, 2012 Presents 2012 estimates of rates and levels of criminal victimization in the U.S. This bulletin includes violent victimization (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault) and property victimization (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft).
  Press Release | PDF (836K) | ASCII file (38K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 48K)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Criminal Victimization, 2012 FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR VIOLENT AND PROPERTY CRIME RATES INCREASED IN 2012 Increases driven by simple assaults and crime not reported to police
  Press Release
Part of the Criminal Victimization in the United States Series

Criminal Victimization, 2009 Presents the annual estimates of rates and levels of violent crime (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault), property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and property theft), and personal theft (pocket picking and purse snatching).
  Press Release | PDF (420K) | ASCII file (24K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 23K)
Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Black Victims Data from the National Crime Survey show that between 1979 and 1986 blacks had higher rates of victimization through violent and household crime than did whites.
  PDF

Terms & Definitions

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