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Publication Urban, Suburban, and Rural Victimization, 1993-98

Detis T. Duhart, Ph.D., Bureau of Justice Statistics

October 1, 2000    NCJ 182031

This report examines the extent of criminal victimization in urban, suburban, and rural areas using 1993 to 1998 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data. The report provides information on trends in victimization by locality of occurrence, victim and offender characteristics, and types of victimization (personal or property crimes). Personal crimes include rape and sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, and personal theft; property crimes include household burglary, motor vehicle theft, and theft. Data on murder by type of locality of occurrence are also given. Murder data came from the Supplementary Homicide Reports (SHR) of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR).


  • From 1993 to 1998 the trends in violent and property crime for urban and suburban areas were similar. For both urban and suburban areas, violent and property crime trends during this period decreased at a greater rate than in rural areas.
  • The average annual 1993-98 violent crime rate in urban areas was about 74% higher than the rural rate and 37% higher than the suburban rate.
  • Urban males experienced violent victimizations at rates 64% higher than the average combined suburban and rural male rate and 47% higher than urban females.
  • Although most violent crimes in urban (60%), suburban (68%), and rural (70%) areas were committed without a weapon, firearm usage in the commission of a violent crime was higher in urban areas when compared to suburban or rural areas (12% urban versus 9% suburban and 8% rural).
  • Between 1993 and 1998, 19 in 20 suburban and rural households owned motor vehicles; however, in suburban households the theft of motor vehicles (13 per 1,000 households) was twice the rural rate (6 per 1,000 households) during this period.
  • Property crimes were generally completed at higher rates against urban households than against suburban or rural households.
  • Urban violent crime victims were more likely than suburban or rural crime victims to be victimized by a stranger (respectively, 53%, 47%, and 34% of violent crime victims).

Full report (PDF 147K)
ASCII file (35K)
ZIP Format (Spreadsheet 150K)
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National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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