National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

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National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

Years Survey Included SGM-related Questions


Survey Description

The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which was first administered in 1972, is the nation's primary source in providing annual level and change estimates on criminal victimization and information on the nature of those incidents. The NCVS is a self-report survey in which interviewed persons are asked about the number and characteristics of victimizations experienced during the prior 6 months.

Survey Sample Population

The NCVS is administered to noninstitutionalized persons’ ages 12 and older from a nationally representative sample of households in the United States. The sample includes persons living in group quarters, such as dormitories, rooming houses, and religious group dwellings, and excludes persons living in military barracks and institutional settings such as correctional or hospital facilities, and persons who are homeless. Each year, data are obtained from a sample of about 90,000 households, comprising nearly 160,000 persons.

Survey Mode

The NCVS occurs annually using a mixed-mode of computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI) and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI). All first interviews are conducted in person with subsequent interviews conducted either in person or by phone. Once selected, households remain in the sample for 3 years, and eligible persons in these households are interviewed every 6 months either in person or over the phone for a total of seven interviews. New households rotate into the sample on an ongoing basis to replace outgoing.

SGM-Related Survey Questions

Sexual Identity

Which of the following best represents how you think of yourself?

[If R is female then Lesbian or] Gay Straight, that is, not [If R is female then Lesbian or] Gay Bisexual
Something else I don’t know the answer (Refused)
Question History: This question will be included in the 2016 version of the survey.

Sexual Behavior

There are currently no questions asked in this category.

Sexual Behavior

There are currently no questions asked in this category.

Gender Identity

What sex were you assigned at birth, on your original birth certificate?

Male Female
(Refused) (Don’t know)

Do you currently describe yourself as male, female or transgender?

Male Female
Transgender None of these

Just to confirm you were assigned {FILL} at birth and now describe yourself as {FILL}. Is that correct?

Yes No
Refused (Don't know)
Question History: These questions will be included in the 2016 version of the survey.

Household Relationships

There are currently no questions asked in this category.

Additional SGM-Related Questions

Determining if Hate Crime

Did the incident occur on or near a holiday, event, location, gathering place, or building commonly associated with a specific group (for example, at the Gay Pride March or at a synagogue, Korean church, or gay bar)?

An offender/Offenders can target people for a variety of reasons, but we are only going to ask you about a few today. Do you suspect the offender(s) targeted you because of...

Your sexual orientation?

If "Yes," SAY - (by this we mean homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual)

Question History: This question was asked in 2012-2014 and 2015. This is the only version of the question that has been used. This question can be found under the Crime Incident Reports questionnaire.

Sex (Household Member’s Gender)

Interviewer instructions: For each household member, enter Precode (1) for “Male” or Precode (2) for “Female”, as appropriate. You can usually determine the household member’s sex from his/her name. However, if there is any doubt, ask the question in SEX and enter the appropriate precode based on the household respondent’s answer.

Question History: This is the only version of the question that has been used. The SEX question, when asked, is in addition to the Gender Identity Questions provided.

Response Rates

In 2015, 95,760 households and 163,880 persons age 12 or older were interviewed for the NCVS. Each household was interviewed twice during the year. The response rate was 82% for households and 86% for eligible persons.

Survey Links


The questionnaires can be found on the main website for the NCVS under ‘Questionnaires’ and are organized by year. Questionnaires include:

  • Identity Theft Supplement (ITS) to the NCVS
  • NCVS Basic Screen Questionnaire
  • NCVS Control Card
  • NCVS Crime Incident Report
  • NCVS for Spanish-speaking respondents
  • School Crime Supplement (SCS)
  • Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS)

Link to questionnaires:


Data for the NCVS can be found under ‘Documentation’. ‘Codebooks and Datasets’ then links to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NCAJD) website that organizes the information by ‘Online Analysis’, which are studies using this information, and ‘Data in the Series’, which organizes data and study information by year.

The data is organized by the Personal Victimization and Household Victimization variables and by data archive years of 1993-2015, 2006-2015 and 2011-2015.

General Information


Federal Interagency Working Group on Improving Measurement of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Federal Surveys. Current Measures of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Federal Surveys. (2016).

Testing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Questions for the National Crime Victimization Survey. Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2013).

Related Content

Page Last Modified:
04/17/2019 02:50 PM