About 15 percent of U.S. households reported violent or property crimes last year, about the same proportion as in 2002, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports. The percentage has declined markedly from 1994, when it stood at 25 percent, but it has been stable now for three years. BJS measures crime by counting affected households to help assess “the dispersion of crime in the nation.”
The report said that about 1 in 26 households reported violence by a stranger or a household burglary last year. Some 18 percent of households headed by Hispanics experienced crime, compared with 16 percent for blacks and 14 percent for whites. More Western households reported crime–a little over 18 percent, compared with more than 14 percent in the Midwest and South and 12.2 percent in the Northeast. In a separate count on vandalism, 5.1 percent of households, or 5.8 million, reported at least one incident last year.