Twenty-two percent of Americans say a crime was committed against their household in the previous year, the lowest proportion since 2001.
Over the past decade, the percentage reporting their household was victimized by any of seven different crimes averaged 26 percent and never dropped below 24 percent, reports the Gallup polling organization. Gallup began computing an annual index of self-reported crime victimization in 2000.
The index is based on the “yes” responses from U.S. adults as to whether they or anyone in their household was the victim of any of seven common crimes — ranging from vandalism to violent crimes — in the past 12 months.
The new drop in crime was not reported across all groups equally. Nonwhites and those with annual household incomes under $40,000 are about as likely this year as they were in 2016 to say their household had experienced a crime. Some crimes were much more likely to occur than others.
Twelve percent said someone in their household had money or property stolen, down from 17 percent in 2016. Ten percent were the victims of vandalism, down from 14 percent last year. Three percent had their house or apartment broken into, down from 5 percent. Three percent had an automobile stolen, compared with 4 percent in 2016. Two percent said someone in their household was mugged or physically assaulted, compared with 3 percent last year.
The crimes may or may not have been reported to the police. Some official statistics on crime rely on counts of crimes reported to police, so they may underestimate crime incidence. Not included in the list are digital crimes such as identity theft or computer hacking.