Bulletin Reports

Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends

Data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) examine periodic fluctuations in victimization rates that tend to occur at the same time each year. This report explores seasonal patterns in crimes in the United States from 1993 to 2010. It addresses property crime, such as burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other household theft, and violent victimization, to include rape and sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault. Also discussed are seasonal trends in other types of violence—intimate partner violence, victimizations involving a weapon, and violence resulting in injury.

  • Seasonal patterns existed in household larceny and burglary victimization rates. These rates were higher in the summer than in other seasons.
  • When seasonal variations were evident for household crimes, the differences between the highest and lowest rates were less than 11 percent.
  • Automobile theft was lower in spring, and there were minimal differences between summer, fall, and winter rates.
  • Aggravated assault rates were higher during summer months; however, simple assault rates were higher in autumn.
  • When seasonal variations were evident for violent victimization, the differences between the rates of the highest and lowest were less than 12 percent.

Additional information on this report is available from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5028, June 17, 2014, NCJ 245959.