Age - The appropriate age category
is determined by the respondent's age on the last day of the month before
household income - The total income of the household head and all
members of the household for the 12 months preceding the interview.
Includes wages, salaries, net income from businesses or farms, pensions,
interest, dividends, rent, and any other form of monetary income.
Aggravated assault - Attack
or attempted attack with a weapon, regardless of whether or not an injury
occurred and attack without a weapon when serious injury results.
With injury - An attack without a weapon when serious injury
results or an attack with a weapon involving any injury. Serious injury
includes broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness,
and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization.
Threatened with a weapon - Threat or attempted attack by an offender
armed with a gun, knife, or other object used as a weapon, not resulting
in victim injury.
Assault - An unlawful physical attack
or threat of attack. Assaults may be classified as aggravated or simple.
Rape, attempted rape, and sexual assaults are excluded from this category,
as well as robbery and attempted robbery. The severity of assaults ranges
from minor threat to incidents which are nearly fatal.
Burglary (also Household burglary) -
Unlawful or forcible entry or attempted entry of a residence. This crime
usually, but not always, involves theft. The illegal entry may be by
force, such as breaking a window or slashing a screen, or may be without
force by entering through an unlocked door or an open window. As long
as the person entering has no legal right to be present in the structure
a burglary has occurred. Furthermore, the structure need not be the
house itself for a burglary to take place; illegal entry of a garage,
shed, or any other structure on the premises also constitutes household
burglary. If breaking and entering occurs in a hotel or vacation residence,
it is still classified as a burglary for the household whose member
or members were staying there at the time the entry occurred.
Completed burglary - A form of burglary in which a person who
has no legal right to be present in the structure successfully gains
entry to a residence, by use of force, or without force.
Forcible entry - A form of completed burglary in which force
is used to gain entry to a residence. Some examples include breaking
a window or slashing a screen.
Unlawful entry without force - A form of completed burglary committed
by someone having no legal right to be on the premises, even though
no force is used.
Attempted forcible entry - A form of burglary in which force
is used in an attempt to gain entry.
- The set of victimizations reported to NCVS in interviews conducted
during the same calendar year. This set may include victimizations which
occurred in the previous calendar year, due to the retrospective nature
of the NCVS interview. Collection year data are used in tables beginning
in 1996. See "Data year."
crimes - Crimes against commercial establishments of any type
are not included in the survey. Commercial establishments include stores,
restaurants, businesses, service stations, medical offices or hospitals,
or other similar establishments. For victimizations occurring in commercial
establishments, the crime is included or not included depending upon
whether the survey respondent was threatened or harmed in some way or
personal property was taken.
classification - Victimizations and incidents are classified
based upon detailed characteristics of the event provided by the respondent.
Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes at the time of interview.
During data processing, a computer program classifies each event into
one type of crime, based upon the entries on a number of items on the
survey questionnaire. This ensures that similar events will be classified
using a standard procedure. The glossary definition for each crime indicates
the major characteristics required to be so classified. If an event
can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used
which classifies the crime according to the most serious event that
occurred. The hierarchy is: rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault,
burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft.
- The set of victimizations reported to NCVS all of which occurred within
the same calendar year. For all years prior to 1996, NCVS data are based
upon data year. Beginning in 1996 and later years, data are based upon
collection year. See "Collection Year."
- A classification based on Hispanic culture and origin, regardless
of household - A classification which defines one and only
one person in each housing unit as the head. Head of household implies
that the person rents or owns (or is in the process of buying), the
housing unit. The head of household must be at least 18, unless all
members of the household are under 18, or the head is married to someone
18 or older.
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.
- A person or group of people meeting either of the following criteria:
(1) people whose usual place of residence
is the same housing unit, even if they are temporarily absent: (2) people staying in a housing unit who have no
usual place of residence elsewhere.
Household Burglary - See burglary.
A specific criminal act involving one or more victims and offenders.
For example, if two people are robbed at the same time and place, this
is classified as two robbery victimizations but only one robbery incident.
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
area - See "Metropolitan Statistical Area."
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) - The Office
of Management and Budget (OMB) defines this as a population nucleus
of 50,000 or more, generally consisting of a city and its immediate
suburbs, along with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic
and social integration with the nucleus. MSA's are designated by counties,
the smallest geographic units for which a wide range of statistical
data can be attained. However, in New England, MSA's are designated
by cities and towns since these subcounty units are of great local significance
and considerable data is available for them. Currently, an area is defined
as an MSA if it meets one of two standards:
(1) a city has a population of at least
50,000; (2) the Census Bureau defines an urbanized area of
at least 50,000 people with a total metropolitan population of at
least 100,000 (or 75,000 in New England). The Census Bureau's definition
of urbanized areas, data on commuting to work, and the strength of
the economic and social ties between the surrounding counties and
the central city determine which counties not containing a main city
are included in an MSA. For New England, MSA's are determined by a
core area and related cities and towns, not counties. A metropolitan
statistical area may contain more than one city of 50,000 and may
cross State lines.
- An automobile, truck, motorcycle, or any other motorized vehicle legally
allowed on public roads and highways.
Motor vehicle theft
- Stealing or unauthorized taking of a motor vehicle, including attempted
Completed motor vehicle theft - The successful taking of a
vehicle by an unauthorized person.
Attempted motor vehicle theft - The unsuccessful attempt by
an unauthorized person to take a vehicle.
Multiple offenders - Two or more persons inflicting some direct
harm to a victim. The victim-offender relationship is determined by
the offender with the closest relationship to the victim. The following
list ranks the different relationships from closest to most distant:
spouse, ex-spouse, parent, child, other relative, nonrelative well-known
person, casual acquaintance, or strange (See Nonstranger and Stranger).
- Persons who report their culture or origin as something other than
"Hispanic" as defined above. This distinction is made regardless
- A classification of a crime victim's relationship to the offender.
An offender who is either related to, well known to, or casually acquainted
with the victim is a nonstranger. For crimes with more than one offender,
if any of the offenders are nonstrangers, then the group of offenders
as a whole is classified as nonstranger. This category only applies
to crimes which involve contact between the victim and the offender;
the distinction is not made for crimes of theft since victims of this
offense rarely see the offenders.
The perpetrator of a crime; this term usually applies to crimes involving
contact between the victim and the offender.
Offense - A crime.
When referring to personal crimes, the term can be used to refer to
both victimizations and incidents.
Personal crimes -
Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, assault, purse snatching and
pocket picking. This category includes both attempted and completed
Place of occurrence of crime - The location at which a crime
occurred, as specified by the victim. Survey measures of crimes occurring
in commercial establishments, restaurants, nightclubs, public transportation
and other similar places include only those crimes involving NCVS measured
crimes against persons, not the establishments. Crimes against commercial
establishments and other places are not measured by the survey.
Property crimes -
Property crimes including burglary, motor vehicle theft, or theft. This
category includes both attempted and completed crimes.
picking - Theft or attempted theft of property or cash directly
from the victim by stealth, without force or threat of force.
Race - Racial categories
for this survey are white, black, and other. The "other" category
is composed mainly of Asian Pacific Islanders, and American Indian,
Aleut, and Eskimo. The race of the head of household is used in determining
the race of the household for computing household crime demographics.
Rape - Forced
sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion as well as
physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral
penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents
where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. Includes
attempted rapes, male as well as female victims and both heterosexual
and homosexual rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.
Rate of victimization - see "Victimization rate."
Region - The States have been divided into four
groups or census regions:
Midwest - Includes the 12 States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio,
South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Northeast - Includes the 9 states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and
South - Includes the District of Columbia and the 16 States
of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee,
Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
West - Includes the 13 states of Alaska, Arizona, California,
Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah,
Washington, and Wyoming.
Robbery - Completed
or attempted theft, directly from a person, of property or cash by force
or threat of force, with or without a weapon, and with or without injury.
Completed/property taken - The successful taking of property
from a person by force or threat of force, with or without a weapon,
and with or without injury.
Completed with injury - The successful taking of property from
a person, accompanied by an attack, either with or without a weapon,
resulting in injury.
Completed without injury - The successful taking of property
from a person by force or the threat of force, either with or without
a weapon, but not resulting in injury.
Attempted to take property - The attempt to take property from
a person by force or threat of force without success, with or without
a weapon, and with or without injury.
Attempted without injury - The attempt to take property from
a person by force or the threat of force without success, either with
or without a weapon, but not resulting in injury.
Attempted with injury - The attempt to take property from a
person without success, accompanied by an attack, either with or without
a weapon, resulting in injury.
Rural area - A place
not located inside the Metropolitan Statistical Area. This category
includes a variety of localities, ranging from sparsely populated rural
areas to cities with populations less than 50,000.
Sample - The set
of housing units selected by the U. S. Census Bureau to be interviewed
for the survey. All occupants of the household age 12 or older are interviewed.
See methodology for sample inclusions and exclusions.
Series - Six or
more similar but separate events, which the respondent is unable to
describe separately in detail to an interviewer.
- A wide range of victimizations, separate from rape or attempted rape.
These crimes include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving
unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. Sexual assaults
may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or
fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.
- Attack without a weapon resulting either in no injury, minor injury
(for example, bruises, black eyes, cuts, scratches or swelling) or in
undetermined injury requiring less than 2 days of hospitalization. Also
includes attempted assault without a weapon.
With minor injury - An attack without a weapon resulting in
such injuries as bruises, black eyes, cuts or in undetermined injury
requiring less than 2 days of hospitalization.
Without injury - An attempted assault without a weapon not
resulting in injury.
A classification of the victim's relationship to the offender for crimes
involving direct contact between the two. Incidents are classified as
involving strangers if the victim identifies the offender as a stranger,
did not see or recognize the offender, or knew the offender only by
sight. Crimes involving multiple offenders are classified as involving
nonstrangers if any of the offenders was a nonstranger. Since victims
of theft without contact rarely see the offender, no distinction is
made between strangers and nonstrangers for this crime.
- A county or counties containing a central city, plus any contiguous
counties that are linked socially and economically to the central city.
On data tables, suburban areas are categorized as those portions of
metropolitan areas situated "outside central cities."
Tenure - The NCVS
recognizes two forms of household tenancy:
(1) owned, which includes dwellings that
are mortgaged, and (2) rented, which includes rent-free quarters belonging
to a party other than the occupants, and situations where rental payments
are in kind or services.
Theft - Completed or attempted
theft of property or cash without personal contact. Incidents involving
theft of property from within the sample household would classify as
theft if the offender has a legal right to be in the house (such as
a maid, delivery person, or guest). If the offender has no legal right
to be in the house, the incident would classify as a burglary.
Completed - To successfully take without permission property
or cash without personal contact between the victim and offender.
Attempted - To unsuccessfully attempt to take property or cash
without personal contact.
- The largest city (or grouping of cities) in a Metropolitan Statistical
Area (see definition of Metropolitan Statistical Area).
Victim - The recipient
of a criminal act, usually used in relation to personal crimes, but
also applicable to households.
- A crime as it affects one individual person or household. For personal
crimes, the number of victimizations is equal to the number of victims
involved. The number of victimizations may be greater than the number
of incidents because more than one person may be victimized during an
incident. Each crime against a household is assumed to involve a single
victim, the affected household.
Victimization rate - A measure of the occurrence of victimizations
among a specified population group. For personal crimes, this is based
on the number of victimizations per 1,000 residents age 12 or older.
For household crimes, the victimization rates are calculated using the
number of incidents per 1,000 households.
- To commit a crime against a person or household.
Violence, crimes of - Rape, sexual assault, personal robbery
or assault. This category includes both attempted and completed crimes.
It does not include purse snatching and pocket picking. Murder is not
measured by the NCVS because of an inability to question the victim.
Completed violence - The sum of all completed rapes, sexual
assaults, robberies, and assaults. See individual crime types for definition
of completed crimes.
Attempted/threatened violence - The unsuccessful attempt of
rape, sexual assault, personal robbery or assault. Includes attempted
attacks or sexual assaults by means of verbal threats. See individual
crime types for definition of attempted crimes.