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Just the Stats

Violent Victimization by Race or Hispanic Origin, 2008–2021

Alexandra Thompson and Susannah N. Tapp, PhD
BJS Statisticians


JULY 2023,  NCJ 305262   

From 2008 to 2021, the rate of overall violent victimization fell (figure 1). Over the same time period, the violent victimization rate fell for persons who identified as white, black, Hispanic, or another race (includes American Indian or Alaska Native or persons of two or more races).

Figure 1.  Rate of violent victimization, by race/Hispanic origin, 2008-2021

This graphic is interactive. To access data points, hover over the line and select a year. To select multiple lines or years, press and hold ctrl on your keyboard and select desired lines or years.


Note: Rates are per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. Estimates are based on 2-year moving averages centered on the most recent year (e.g., a 2008 estimate includes data for 2007 and 2008). Therefore, estimates may differ from previously published reports where only 1 year was used for annual rates, rather than 2-year rolling averages. See appendix table 1 for estimates and standard errors. 
aExcludes persons of Hispanic origin (e.g., “white” refers to non-Hispanic white persons and “black” refers to non-Hispanic black persons).
bIncludes persons who identified as Asian only or as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (NHOPI) only. Categories are not shown separately due to small numbers of sample cases.
cIncludes persons who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native or persons of two or more races. Categories are not shown separately due to small numbers of sample cases.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008–2021.    


During the 5-year aggregate period of 2017–21, white persons (19.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older) experienced a higher rate of violent victimization than the rate for Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander persons (9.8 per 1,000) (table 1). This pattern held across all types of violent crime. The rate of robbery victimization for black (2.8 per 1,000) and Hispanic persons (2.5 per 1,000) was higher than for white persons (1.6 per 1,000), but the rate of simple assault was higher for white persons (13.3 per 1,000) than black (11.3 per 1,000) or Hispanic (10.6 per 1,000) persons. 

Table 1. Rate of violent victimization, by type of crime and victim race/Hispanic origin, 2017–21
 

                                      Rate per 1,000 persons age 12 or older


Type of crime

Total

White*a 

Blacka

Hispanic

Asian/Native Hawaiian/
Other Pacific Islandera,b

Othera,c

Total violent crimed

19.5

19.8

19.4

18.4

9.8†

54.8†

   Rape/sexual assault

1.6

1.7

1.4

1.4

1.1†

4.2†

   Robbery

1.9

1.6

2.8†

2.5†

0.9†

5.3†

   Assault

16.0

16.5

15.2

14.5

7.7†

45.3†

     Aggravated assault

3.4

3.2

3.8

3.8

1.1†

8.5†

     Simple assault

12.6

13.3

11.3‡

10.6†

6.7†

36.9†

Violent crime excluding simple assaulte

6.9

6.4

8.0†

7.8†

3.1†

18.0†

Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding. Rate is per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. See appendix table 19 in Criminal Victimization, 2021 (NCJ 305101, BJS, September 2022) for person populations. See appendix table 2 for standard errors.
*Comparison group.
†Significant difference from comparison group at the 95% confidence level.
‡Significant difference from comparison group at the 90% confidence level.
aExcludes persons of Hispanic origin (e.g., “white” refers to non-Hispanic white persons and “black” refers to non-Hispanic black persons).
bIncludes persons who identified as Asian only or as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander only. Categories are not shown separately due to small numbers of sample cases.
cIncludes persons who identified as American Indian or Alaska Native or as two or more races. Categories are not shown separately due to small numbers of sample cases.
dExcludes homicide because the National Crime Victimization Survey is based on interviews with victims.
eIncludes rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2017–2021.

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During 2017–21, a greater number of violent incidents with white victims involved white offenders (8,721,450 incidents) than offenders of any other race or Hispanic origin or whose race or Hispanic origin was unknown (table 2). More violent incidents with black victims involved black offenders (1,884,250 incidents) than white offenders (371,540). Similarly, a greater number of violent incidents with Hispanic victims involved Hispanic offenders (1,423,520 incidents) than white offenders (1,006,400).

 

Table 2. Number of violent incidents, by victim and offender race/Hispanic origin, 2017–21

                                                          Offender race/Hispanic origin

Victim race/
Hispanic origin

Total

White*a

Blacka

Hispanicb

Asian/Native Hawaiian/
Other Pacific Islandera,c

Othera,d

Unknowne

Whitea

15,795,650

8,721,450

2,382,400†

1,535,050†

187,150†

513,140†

1,821,890†

Blacka

3,095,610

371,540

1,884,250†

243,880‡

11,850!

86,100†

341,240†

Hispanic

4,057,480

1,006,400

741,600†

1,423,520†

55,410†

65,770†

548,520†

Asian/Native Hawaiian/
Other Pacific Islandera,c

829,570

219,520

191,970

57,530†

113,220†

5,760!

122,640!

Othera,d

1,412,090

681,920

234,750†

127,740†

27,830†

178,530†

139,760†


Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding and because total includes incidents where the number of offenders was unknown. An incident is a specific criminal act involving one or more victims. Offender race/Hispanic origin is based on victims’ perceptions of offenders. Includes violent incidents in which the perceived offender race/Hispanic origin was reported. See appendix table 3 for standard errors.
*Comparison group.
†Significant difference from comparison group at the 95% confidence level.
‡Significant difference from comparison group at the 90% confidence level.
! Interpret data with caution. Estimate is based on 10 or fewer sample cases, or coefficient of variation is greater than 50%.
aExcludes persons who identified as being (or, for offender categories, were perceived as) of Hispanic origin (e.g., “white” refers to non-Hispanic white persons and “black” refers to non-Hispanic black persons).
bIf the victim perceived any of the offenders in a multiple offender incident to be of Hispanic origin, they are classified as Hispanic.
cIncludes persons who identified as (or, for offender categories, were perceived as) Asian only or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander only. Categories are not shown separately due to small numbers of sample cases.
dIncludes persons who identified as (or, for offender categories, were perceived as) American Indian or Alaska Native or as two or more races. Categories are not shown separately due to small numbers of sample cases.
eIncludes incidents where the victim did not know the offender’s race/Hispanic origin.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2017–2021.

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Figure 1 features trend estimates of 2-year moving averages and standard errors by race and Hispanic origin. Offender characteristics in the NCVS are based on victims’ perceptions of offenders. Tables 1 and 2 show an aggregate period of multiple data years. These approaches increase the reliability and stability of the estimates. For more information on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), see the Methodology section in Criminal Victimization, 2021 (NCJ 305101, BJS, September 2022). 

Appendix Table 1. Estimates and standard errors for figure 1: Rate of violent victimization, 2008–2021
                                                                              Total
                            95% Confidence interval

Year

Rate per 1,000

Standard error

Lower bound

Upper bound

2008

26.3†

1.45

23.44

29.12

2009

23.8†

1.48

20.92

26.72

2010

20.8†

1.32

18.20

23.38

2011

20.9†

1.33

18.32

23.54

2012

24.4†

1.22

21.97

26.75

2013

24.6†

1.46

21.78

27.49

2014

21.6†

1.22

19.24

 24.02

2015

19.3†

1.10

17.18

21.49

2016

19.1†

1.02

17.12

21.13

2017

20.1†

0.93

18.32

21.95

2018

21.9†

0.92

20.10

23.71

2019

22.1†

1.11

19.91

24.27

2020

18.7

0.92

16.89

20.49

2021*

16.4

0.87

14.73

18.13


Note: Rates are per 1,000 persons age 12 or older. Standard errors were generated using generalized variance function parameters. For more information, see the Methodology section in Criminal Victimization, 2021 (NCJ 305101, BJS, September 2022). Estimates are based on 2-year moving averages centered on the most recent year (e.g., a 2008 estimate includes data for 2007 and 2008). Therefore, estimates and standard errors may differ from previously published reports where only 1 year was used for annual rates.
*Comparison year.
†Significant difference from comparison year at the 95% confidence level.
‡Significant difference from comparison year at the 90% confidence level.
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008–2021.

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Appendix Table 2. Standard errors for table 1: Rate of violent victimization, by type of crime and victim race/Hispanic origin, 2017–21
                                                          Rate per 1,000

Type of crime

Total

White

Black

Hispanic

Asian/Native Hawaiian/
Other Pacific Islander

Other

Total violent crime

0.58

0.81

1.30

1.12

1.02

4.49

    Rape/sexual assault

0.09

0.12

0.19

0.17

0.21

0.75

    Robbery

0.11

0.12

0.31

0.25

0.20

0.90

    Assault

0.54

0.75

1.17

1.01

0.93

4.22

      Aggravated assault

0.16

0.20

0.39

0.34

0.23

3.39

      Simple assault

0.46

0.65

0.97

0.83

0.85

3.75

Violent crime excluding
simple assault

0.24

0.30

0.59

0.51

0.40

1.83


Note: Standard errors were generated using generalized variance function parameters. For more information, see the Methodology section in Criminal Victimization, 2021 (NCJ 305101, BJS, September 2022).
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2017–2021.

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Appendix Table 3. Standard errors for table 2: Number of violent incidents, by victim and offender race/Hispanic origin, 2017–21
                                                            Offender race/Hispanic origin

Victim race/Hispanic origin

Total

White

Black

Hispanic

Asian/Native Hawaiian/
Other Pacific Islander

Other

Unknown

White

668,821

444,155

183,322

136,676

35,860

67,058

76,792

Black

218,756

54,705

156,654

42,143

7,444

22,599

32,225

Hispanic

262,887

103,506

84,890

130,013

17,519

19,331

39,154

Asian/Native Hawaiian/
Other Pacific Islander

91,274

39,514

36,418

17,898

26,545

5,061

27,330

Other

129,322

80,424

41,168

28,514

11,881

34,852

112,831


Note: Standard errors were generated using generalized variance function parameters. For more information, see the Methodology section in Criminal Victimization, 2021 (NCJ 305101, BJS, September 2022).
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2017–2021.

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The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice is the principal federal agency responsible for measuring crime, criminal victimization, criminal offenders, victims of crime, correlates of crime, and the operation of criminal and civil justice systems at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels. BJS collects, analyzes, and disseminates reliable statistics on crime and justice systems in the United States, supports improvements to state and local criminal justice information systems, and participates with national and international organizations to develop and recommend national standards for justice statistics. Alexis R. Piquero, PhD, is the director.

This report was written by Alexandra Thompson and Susannah N. Tapp, PhD. Erika Harrell, PhD, verified the report.

Brigit Baron edited the report. Priscilla Fauntleroy produced the web version of this report. John Popham and Priscilla Fauntleroy oversaw development of the interactive graphic.

July 2023, NCJ 305262

Date Created: July 3, 2023