The National Crime Victimization Survey is conducted every year using a random sample of U.S. residents over age 12. Because it is not tied to police documents, it includes many unreported crimes.
The survey indicates that violent crimes peaked in 1994, and have since declined. Property crimes have declined steadily since 1975.
These decreases have been attributed to aging out — since people aged 15 to 24 tend to commit the largest number of crimes, and their number is decreasing. It has also been attributed to the slowing of the crack market and to the strong economy of the 1990s.
Teenagers and young adults experience the highest rates of violent crime, by far.
People of color also experience higher rates of violent victimization, although the gap in victimization rates for Blacks and Whites is closing.
Overall, about 1% of people randomly surveyed report that they have been victimized by violence in the past year.