Bulletin Reports

Household Poverty and Nonfatal Violent Victimization

This Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report provides findings from 2008 to 2012 on the relationship between households at the federal poverty level (FPL) and nonfatal violent victimization, including sexual assault or rape, robbery, and both aggravated and simple assault. It examines the violent victimization of individuals living in households at various poverty levels, focusing on types of violence, victim’s race or origin, and residential location. The report also indicates percentages by poverty level of violent victimizations reported to police.

  • Individuals in poor households at or below the FPL had more than twice the rate of violent victimization, with 39.8 per 1,000 people, as persons in high-income households, who had 16.9 incidents per 1,000.
  • People in poverty-level households had a higher rate of violence involving a firearm, 3.5 per 1,000 people, compared with those living above the FPL, with 0.8 to 2.5 per 1,000.
  • The overall pattern of impoverished individuals having the highest rates of violent victimization was consistent for both Caucasians and African Americans; however, the rate for Hispanics did not vary across poverty levels.
  • Poor Hispanics had lower rates of violence, 25.3 per 1,000 people, compared with poor Caucasians, with 46.4 per 1,000, and poor African Americans, having 43.4 per 1,000.
  • Impoverished individuals living in urban areas had violent victimization rates of 43.9 per 1,000 people, similar to poor persons living in rural areas, with 38.8 per 1,000.
  • Poor urban African Americans had violence rates of 51.3 per 1,000 people, similar to poor urban Caucasians, who had 56.4 incidents per 1,000.

For additional information go to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=270486, 2014, NCJ 248384.