Crime

Little Change in Crime Rate From Last Year

Almost one in three households victimized by crime in past year

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's annual update on crime shows that 32% of all U.S. households experienced some type of crime during the past year, including 18% with one incident and 14% with two or more incidents. The poll also shows that 39% of all crime incidents in the past year were not reported to the police.

Gallup added the category of Internet crime in 2003, which has increased the overall rate of crime victimization. Without Internet crime included, the household crime rate is 27%, compared with 25% last year and 26% the year before.

The rate of individual (as opposed to household) victimization is 21% for all crimes, and 16% for crimes not including Internet crimes. Individual crime victimization including Internet crime has been the same for 2003 through 2005. With Internet crime excluded from the computation, the individual crime rate was 18% in 2003, 17% in 2004, and 16% this year. The differences are within the polls' margins of error, suggesting no real change in the individual crime rate.

The two most frequently mentioned crimes in all the polls were having money or property stolen (11% to 16%) and having one's home, car, or property vandalized (11% to 15%). Those two crimes remain at the top of the list this year.

Please tell me which, if any, of these incidents have happened to you or your household within the last 12 months?

CRIME INCIDENT

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

%

%

%

%

%

%

Money or property stolen from you or another member of your household

14

11

12

14

14

16

A home, car, or property owned by you or other household member vandalized

12

11

15

15

15

15

Your house or apartment broken into

4

3

5

5

3

4

You or other household member mugged or physically assaulted

3

3

3

2

3

4

A car owned by you or other household member stolen

4

3

4

3

4

2

Money or property taken from you or other household member by force, with gun, knife, weapon or physical attack, or by threat of force

2

1

1

2

1

2

You or other household member sexually assaulted

1

na

2

1

*

1

You or another household member was victim of computer/Internet crime

na

na

na

6

8

8

Net percentage of households experiencing any crime

na

na

na

30

30

32

Net percentage of households experiencing any crime (excluding Internet crime)

24

22

25

26

25

27

Net percentage of households experiencing violent crime

3

4

4

5

4

5

Percentage of individuals victimized by crime in past year

na

na

na

21

21

21

Percentage of individuals victimized by crime in past year (not including Internet crime)

15

15

15

18

17

16

Percentage of individuals victimized by violent crime in past year

2

2

2

2

2

3

Percentage of all crime not reported to police

na

na

na

35

44

39

Percentage of all crime not reported to police (excluding Internet crime)

29

33

29

32

38

33

* = Less than 0.5%

na = Not Available

Four percent of respondents this year say their house or apartment was broken into, 4% that someone in the household was mugged, 2% that a car owned by someone in the household was stolen, and 2% that someone in the household was robbed. One percent say that someone in the household was sexually assaulted.

In addition, 8% of Americans report being a victim of a computer or Internet crime, the same as last year.

A net total of 5% of all American households experienced one or more violent crimes this past year, compared with 4% the previous year and 5% the year before that.

For the first four years of the annual polls, the percentage of crimes not reported to the police varied between 29% and 33% (excluding Internet crimes). Last year, the percentage of unreported crime incidents jumped to 38%, up from 32% the previous year and 29% in 2002. However, this year, the percentage of unreported crimes (excluding Internet crimes) dropped back to 33%.

If Internet crimes are included in the calculation, roughly the same pattern prevails -- 44% of crimes were not reported last year, compared with 39% this year.

Crime Highest Among the Young and People in Urban Areas

While there are some variations over the past five years, the highest rates of victimization continue to be among young people and nonwhites. Urban residents have also consistently reported higher crime rates than suburban and rural residents, though the margin has varied over the years. (For purposes of comparison with previous years, Internet crime is excluded.)

CRIME INCIDENTS COMPARED BY SELECTED DEMOGRAPHICS
(Percentage Experiencing Any Crime During Past Year --
Excluding Internet Crime)

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

%

%

%

%

%

%

All Households

24

22

25

26

25

27

Age

18-29

39

30

43

41

40

41

30-49

25

27

25

26

28

28

50-64

19

17

20

25

23

21

65+

8

8

12

10

8

17

Race

Nonwhite

31

32

36

33

29

34

White

23

21

22

24

24

24

Community

Urban

32

28

35

29

30

29

Suburban

23

20

20

27

23

26

Rural

16

21

23

20

25

24

Income

<$20,000

18

21

27

25

35

34

$20,000-<$30,000

34

27

29

31

31

18

$30,000-<$50,000

19

26

26

28

26

23

$50,000-<$75,000

28

19

21

26

22

33

$75,000+

19

22

28

20

21

23

Major Findings

  • Forty-one percent of respondents in the youngest age group (18 to 29) report that their household experienced some crime in the past year, compared with 28% in the 30- to 49-year-old group, 21% in the 50 to 64 group, and 17% among people 65 or older. That pattern has been found in each of the past six years.
  • White households consistently experience lower rates of crime than nonwhite households. The gap has varied over the past six years, from a low of 5 points last year 29% vs. 24%) to a high of 14 points in 2002 (36% vs. 22%). This year, the gap is 10 points (34% vs. 24%), slightly above the average gap for the half-dozen years.
  • Urban households also consistently experience a higher rate of crime than suburban and rural households, but the margin has varied. This year, 29% of urban households report crime, compared with 26% of suburban households, and 24% of rural households. The differences between suburban and rural households have varied, with no clear pattern.
  • This year, there is no clear correlation between income and victimization. Thirty-four percent of the lowest-income households report crime, while 33% of households with incomes in the $50,000 to $75,000 range also report some crime. Twenty-three percent of households with more than $75,000 a year report crime, the same percentage as households with $30,000 to $50,000 a year.

Survey Methods

The results reported here are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected sample of 1,012 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Oct. 13-16, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

32. Please tell me which, if any, of these incidents have happened to you or your household within the last twelve months?

A. Your house or apartment broken into

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

4

96

*

2004 Oct 11-14

3

97

--

2003 Oct 6-8

5

95

--

2002 Oct 14-17

5

95

*

2001 Oct 11-14

3

97

*

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

4

96

--

* = Less than 0.5%

B. Money or property stolen from you or another member of your household

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

16

84

--

2004 Oct 11-14

14

86

*

2003 Oct 6-8

14

86

*

2002 Oct 14-17

12

88

*

2001 Oct 11-14

11

89

*

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

14

86

--

* = Less than 0.5%

C. A car owned by you or another household member stolen

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

2

98

*

2004 Oct 11-14

4

96

*

2003 Oct 6-8

3

97

--

2002 Oct 14-17

4

96

*

2001 Oct 11-14

3

97

--

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

4

96

--

* = Less than 0.5%

D. A home, car, or property owned by you or another household member vandalized

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

15

85

*

2004 Oct 11-14

15

85

*

2003 Oct 6-8

15

85

*

2002 Oct 14-17

15

84

1

2001 Oct 11-14

11

89

--

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

12

88

--

* = Less than 0.5%

E. Money or property taken from you or another household member by force, with gun, knife, weapon or physical attack, or by threat of force

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

2

98

*

2004 Oct 11-14

1

99

--

2003 Oct 6-8

2

98

*

2002 Oct 14-17

1

99

*

2001 Oct 11-14

1

99

--

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

2

98

--

* = Less than 0.5%

F. You or another household member mugged or physically assaulted

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

4

96

*

2004 Oct 11-14

3

97

*

2003 Oct 6-8

2

98

*

2002 Oct 14-17

3

97

*

2001 Oct 11-14

3

97

--

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

3

97

--

* = Less than 0.5%

G. You or another household member sexually assaulted

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

1

99

*

2004 Oct 11-14

*

100

--

2003 Oct 6-8

1

99

*

2002 Oct 14-17

2

98

*

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

1

99

--

* = Less than 0.5%

H. You or another household member was the victim of a computer or Internet-based crime, such as fraud or computer hacking, while using your home computer

Yes

No

No opinion

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

8

92

--

2004 Oct 11-14

8

91

1

2003 Oct 6-8

6

93

1

SUMMARY: HOUSEHOLD CRIME VICTIMIZATION

Household Victimized by Crime in the Past Year (Q.32A-H)

Yes

No

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

32

68

2004 Oct 11-14

30

70

2003 Oct 6-8

30

70

Long-term Trend: Household Victimized by Crime in the Past Year -- Excluding Internet Crime (Q.32A-G)

Yes

No

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

27

73

2004 Oct 11-14

25

75

2003 Oct 6-8

26

74

2002 Oct 14-17

25

75

2001 Oct 11-14

22

78

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

24

76

Number of Times Household Victimized by Crime in the Past Year (Q.32A-H)

None

Once

Twice or more

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

68

18

14

2004 Oct 11-14

70

18

12

2003 Oct 6-8

70

17

13

Long-term Trend: Number of Times Household Victimized by Crime in the Past Year -- Excluding Internet Crime (Q.32A-G)

None

Once

Twice or more

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

73

15

12

2004 Oct 11-14

75

14

11

2003 Oct 6-8

74

14

12

2002 Oct 14-17

75

16

9

2001 Oct 11-14

78

15

7

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

76

14

10

SUMMARY: HOUSEHOLD CRIME VICTIMIZATION

Household Victimized by Violent Crime in the Past Year (Q.32E-G)

Yes

No

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

5

95

2004 Oct 11-14

4

96

2003 Oct 6-8

5

95

2002 Oct 14-17

4

96

2001 Oct 11-14

4

96

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

3

97

33. (Asked of those who were victims of the crimes listed below) As far as you know, was that incident reported to the police, or not?

A. Your house or apartment broken into

B. Money or property stolen from you or another member of your household

C. A car owned by you or another household member stolen

D. A home, car, or property owned by you or another household member vandalized

E. Money or property taken from you or another household member by force, with gun, knife, weapon or physical attack, or by threat of force

F. You or another household member mugged or physically assaulted

G. You or other household member sexually assaulted

H. You or another household member was the victim of a computer or Internet-based crime, such as fraud or computer hacking, while using your home computer

ITEMS A-H NOT REPORTED DUE TO SMALL SAMPLE SIZES

SUMMARY: CRIME REPORTING

Crime Against Household Reported to Police in the Past Year (Q.33A-H)

Crime reported

Crime not reported

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

61

39

2004 Oct 11-14

56

44

2003 Oct 6-8

65

35

Long-term Trend: Crime Against Household Reported to Police in the Past Year -- Excluding Internet Crime (Q.33A-G)

Crime reported

Crime not reported

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

67

33

2004 Oct 11-14

62

38

2003 Oct 6-8

68

32

2002 Oct 14-17

71

29

2001 Oct 11-14

67

33

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

71

29

34. (Asked of those who were victims of the crimes listed below) And did this incident happen to you, personally, or was it to another member of your household?

A. NOT ASKED

B. Money or property stolen from you or another member of your household

C. A car owned by you or another household member stolen

D. A home, car, or property owned by you or another household member vandalized

E. Money or property taken from you or another household member by force, with gun, knife, weapon or physical attack, or by threat of force

F. You or another household member mugged or physically assaulted

G. You or other household member sexually assaulted

H. You or another household member was the victim of a computer or Internet-based crime, such as fraud or computer hacking, while using your home computer

ITEMS B-H NOT REPORTED DUE TO SMALL SAMPLE SIZES

SUMMARY: INDIVIDUAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION

Individual Victimized by Crime in the Past Year (Q.34A-H)

Yes

No

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

21

79

2004 Oct 11-14

21

79

2003 Oct 6-8

21

79

Long-term Trend: Individual Victimized by Crime in the Past Year -- Excluding Internet Crime (Q.34A-G)

Yes

No

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

16

84

2004 Oct 11-14

17

83

2003 Oct 6-8

18

82

2002 Oct 14-17

15

85

2001 Oct 11-14

15

85

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

15

85

Number of Times Individual Victimized by Crime in the Past Year (Q.34A-H)

None

Once

Twice or more

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

79

14

7

2004 Oct 11-14

79

14

7

2003 Oct 6-8

79

14

7

Long-term Trend: Number of Times Individual Victimized by Crime in the Past Year -- Excluding Internet Crime (Q.34A-G)

None

Once

Twice or more

%

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

84

10

6

2004 Oct 11-14

83

11

6

2003 Oct 6-8

82

12

6

2002 Oct 14-17

85

10

5

2001 Oct 11-14

85

11

4

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

85

10

5

SUMMARY: INDIVIDUAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION (continued)

Individual Victimized by Violent Crime in the Past Year (Q.34E-G)

Yes

No

%

%

2005 Oct 13-16

3

97

2004 Oct 11-14

2

98

2003 Oct 6-8

2

98

2002 Oct 14-17

2

98

2001 Oct 11-14

2

98

2000 Aug 29-Sep 5

2

98

Gallup http://www.gallup.com/poll/19618/Little-Change-Crime-Rate-From-Last-Year.aspx Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A +1 202.715.3030