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For The First Time, BJS Issues Victimization Estimates By State

For the first time, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics released "subnational" violent and property crime victimization estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) for the 22 most populous states.

Colorado, Arizona and Washington had violent victimization rates that were higher than the national rate (21.6 violent victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older) during 2017 to 2019. Violent victimization categories include rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault.

“This is a very important, first-of-its-kind report that the criminal justice field has wanted for a long time. With this release, researchers can now access the data to investigate different research questions,” said BJS director Alexis Piquero.

Seven states (Texas, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey) had rates of violent

victimization that were lower than the national rate.

The remaining 12 states (Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Illinois) had rates that were not statistically different from the U.S. rate. During 2017-19, these 22 states accounted for 79% of the U.S.

population and 75% of violent victimizations.

Across the 22 states, between 34% and 58% of violent crimes were reported to police, compared to 43% nationwide. For property crimes (burglary, trespassing, motor vehicle theft and other household theft), the

percentage reported to police was between 28% and 44% across the 22 states and 34% for the nation.

Property crime rates were higher than the national rate in 6 states and were lower in 12: Washington, Colorado, Arizona, California, Indiana and Texas had higher rates; Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Florida, New York, North Carolina and New Jersey had lower rates.

“Not only do these data highlight differences in the rate and type of victimization across states, but they also detect a significant amount of non-reporting to police in individual states,” Piquero said.

NCVS differs from the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (formerly Uniform Crime Reporting) because it is based on interviews with a cross-section of U.S. residents and includes reports of crimes that are not made to local police departments.

Because so many crimes are unreported to authorities, some crime experts consider NCVS a more accurate depiction of national crime trends.

Until now, however, NCVS estimates have been issued only on a national Basis. Monday's release is the first time that NCVS estimates have been issued for many individual states. Because the data are based on people reporting their own victimizations, they do not include homicides.


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