The percentage of Americans 12 or older who were victims of violent crime declined 15 percent between 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics says in a new report. The prevalence of property crime declined from 6.76 percent of households in 2019 to 6.19 percent in 2020. The data are based on the National Crime Victim Survey, which asks a representative sample of U.S. residents if they were crime victims in the previous year. Although the data include only about half of the coronavirus pandemic, they may shed light on whether violent crime actually was rising nationally during the period. Many cities have reported increases in homicide but not necessarily all violent crimes.
A greater percentage of violent incidents involved male offenders (79 percent) than female offenders (17 percent) or offenders of both sexes (three percent). Most violent incidents both whites and Blacks were committed by an offender of the same race or ethnicity as the victim. From 2019 to 2020, the percentage of intimate partner violent victimizations for which victims received victim services decreased by more than half, from 26 percent to 12 percent. The rate of violent victimization committed against U.S. citizens was lower in 2020 (16.7 victimizations per 1,000 U.S. citizens) than in 2019 (21.2 per 1,000).