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Criminal Victimization in the United States: 1973-88 Trends

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1991
Data from the National Crime Surveys for 1973-88 cover personal crimes of violence (female rape, robbery, assault); personal crimes of theft; and household crimes (burglary, household larceny, and motor vehicle theft).

Overall, the data show significant changes in the levels and rates of crime in the United States since 1973. By 1988 the general crime level had fallen to 14 percent below the level in the peak year of 1981. The victimization rate for violent crimes showed the first measurable increase from 1973 to 1979. The rate reached a high of 35.3 violent crimes per 1,000 persons in 1981; the low as 28.1 in 1986. The rate did not change significantly after 1986. The personal theft victimization rate rose between 1973 and 1977, when it peaked at 97.3 per 1,000 persons. After 1977 the rate fell rapidly until 1986 when the lowest victimization rate, 67.5 per 1,000 persons, was obtained. The rate rose slightly after 1986. The rate of household crimes remained high from 1973 through 1981 and began to drop steadily in 1982; it has remained stable since 1985. Since 1973 the percentage of crimes reported to law enforcement authorities has increased significantly. 49 tables, appended supplementary tables and methodology description, and a glossary

Date Published: July 1, 1991