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Publication Criminal Victimization, 1996: Changes 1995-96 with Trends 1993-96

Cheryl Ringel, Bureau of Justice Statistics

November 15, 1997    NCJ 165812

This report summarizes criminal victimization levels and rates in 1996. It also includes other findings about the characteristics of victims and examines trends in victimization rates from 1993 to 1996. The results cover the same period as the recently-released UCR statistics for 1996 and are generally consistent with the UCR findings.


  • The 1994-95 general downward trend in criminal victimizations continued in 1996. The 1996 victimization rates are the lowest recorded by the NCVS since its inception in 1973 (after statistical adjustments for change in survey design in 1992).
  • In 1996 violent crime rates were 16% lower and property crime rates 17% lower than they were in 1993.
  • After a nonstatistically significant increase in 1993-94, the rates for robbery and simple assault declined through 1996. Every other NCVS measured crime has shown a general downward trend for 1993-96.
  • The decreasing victimization trends during 1993-96 were experienced about equally for all sex, race, and income groups. Hispanic households experienced a greater decrease in the property victimization rate than did non-Hispanic households.
  • Between no two consecutive years from 1993 to 1996 did a violent, personal, or property crime rate increase a statistically significant amount.
  • In 48% of all violent victimizations in 1996, the victim knew the offender.
  • Four in ten violent crimes and 3 in 10 property crimes were reported to the police in 1996. Females were more likely than males, and blacks more likely than whites, to report a victimization to the police.

Part of the Criminal Victimization Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 106K)
ASCII file (47K)
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National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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