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24% Of American Households Victimized By Crime in 2018
By Leonard A. Sipes, Jr.
Published: 12/31/2018

Neighborhood scaled

Crime in America.Net offers a comprehensive overview of criminal activity in the US for recent years that includes data from the FBI, the National Crime Survey, and Gallup. See findings at Crime in America. It’s designed to give readers a quick, comprehensive overview.

Gallup offers an array of crime-related measurements (as separate reports) including household and personal crime, and fear of crime. What’s below includes households affected by crime.

Gallup-Latest Report-December-2018

The latest data from Gallup indicates that:

24% of Americans have been victimized by violent or property crimes in 2018, up from the 22% who said the same last year.

14% reporting being victimized by property theft.

11% reported vandalism of a home, vehicle or property.

4% said they or someone in their household has been a victim of a violent offense.

Beyond the 24 percent victimized by violent and property crimes, 23% of U.S. households were victimized by cybercrime in 2018.

Background and Previous Data

Previous Gallup reports are offered as context because Gallup’s findings seem to go from one extreme to the other in terms of sequential yearly comparisons.

Per Gallup (November 2016) Americans’ direct experience with crime was at a 16-year high, consistent with a gradual increase — from 22% in 2001 to 29% — in the percentage saying that they or a household member was the victim of a robbery, vandalism or violent crime in the past year, see Gallup-Crime.

Per Gallup-household crime was at its highest point since 2001.

But Gallup then offered their November 2017 report which addressed personal and household crime, Asked about their own experiences rather than the situation for their household as a whole, 15% of U.S. adults say they have been the victim of at least one of the crimes.

For personal crime, that is an insignificant drop of one percentage point from last year’s 16%.

Twenty-two percent of Americans say a conventional crime was committed against their household in the previous 12 months, the lowest proportion since 2001, see Gallup-Crime-2017.

So within two years, we have both the highest and lowest measures of household crime but an insignificant drop in personal crime.


There is an endless debate as to the impact of crime on Americans and whether it’s going up or down. Per the latest report, household accounts of violent and property crime are up.

24% of households have been victimized by violent or property crimes and 23% of U.S. households were victimized by cybercrime in 2018.

Gallup does not provide crossover data, but the percentages suggest that a huge percentage of American households are annually victimized by crime.

Gallup Report-December-2018

Per Gallup, Americans are more likely to say a household member has had their personal, credit card or financial information stolen by computer hackers, than report being victimized by any of eight other forms of criminal activity.

Nearly a quarter of Americans, 23% say that they or someone in their household fell victim to this type of cybercrime in 2018, little changed from 25% who reported being so targeted last year.

Among the seven types of physical or property crimes measured in the poll, the most likely type of crime to affect Americans was property theft, with 14% reporting being victimized in this way.

One other property crime had an impact on more than 10% of the public this past year, with 11% reporting vandalism of a home, vehicle or property. Meanwhile, the percentages experiencing a home break-in or auto theft are in the low single-digits.

Americans’ reports of violent crimes remain low, with a net 4% saying they or someone in their household has been a victim of a violent offense. The most common violent crime experienced by the public is muggings or physical assaults, with 2% saying that has occurred to them or someone in their household in the past year. One percent report that they or a member of their household had money or property taken by force, the same number who reported sexual assault.

Overall Crime Victimization

Based on this computation, 24% of Americans have been victimized by one of these crimes in the past year. This percentage is broadly in line with what Gallup has measured over the past 18 years.

This is up only slightly from the 22% who said the same last year.

The latter tied the lowest in Gallup’s 18-year trend, previously recorded in October 2001.

The high point in terms of crime victimization occurred in 2016 when 29% of Americans reported that they or someone in their household were the victims of a crime.

This coincided with a 15-year record high in concern about violence and crime, 53% of the public who said they worried a great deal about the issue.

Reprinted with permission from http://www.crimeinamerica.net.

Contact us at crimeinamerica@gmail.com or for media on deadline, use leonardsipes@gmail.com.

Leonard A. Sipes, Jr has thirty-five years of experience supervising public affairs for national and state criminal justice agencies. He is the Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse and the Former Director of Information Management for the National Crime Prevention Council. He has a Post Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and is the author of the book "Success With the Media". He can be reached via email at leonardsipes@gmail.com.


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