© ANP / Joosten Fotografie

A safe society, and specifically feeling safe, are important aspects of well-being. Victims of crime may suffer financial, material or emotional damage – alongside being physically harmed – and this can have a negative impact on their quality of life (Lamet and Wittebrood, 2009). For further information on crime victim rates, their consequences and the perception of safety in the Dutch population, see the 2021 Safety monitor (CBS, 2022).

Crime victims

Situation in 2021 (no figures available for 2022)

In 2021, 17.1 percent of the Dutch population aged 15 years and older reported having been victim of a crime during the preceding twelve months. This included violent crimes, crimes against property and vandalism. Property crimes were the most common (9.0 percent), while vandalism (6.0 percent) and violence (5.2 percent) were mentioned less frequently. The indicator does not include cybercrime.

  • Men are slightly more likely to have been victims of crime than women.
  • The crime victim rate decreases with age. The percentage of people in age categories up to 54 years who had been victims of crime was higher than average, while in the over-55 age categories the percentage was below average. The highest crime victim rate was reported in the 15- to 24-year and 2-5 to 34-year age categories and the lowest rate was among those aged 75 and older.
  • The crime victim rate was higher than average among higher educated people and lower among groups with medium and low education levels.
  • A lower than average percentage of people born in the Netherlands whose parents were born in the Netherlands reported having been victims of crime. People born abroad or with at least one parent born abroad were relatively more likely to have been a victim.

The characteristics sex, age, education level and origin/country of birth correlate with each other. The percentage of higher educated people, for example, is not the same in all age groups. This is taken into account by standardising the figures, correcting for the variation in the occurrence of the above characteristics. On the basis of standardised figures on crime victims the above findings remain unchanged.
The differences in crime victim rates between the three origin/country-of-birth groups are smaller after standardisation, however. The results become less favourable mainly for people born in the Netherlands with one or both parents born outside Europe. This group comprises a relatively large number of younger people, who are more likely to be crime victims. But even on the basis of the standardised figures, people in this group are still more likely than average to have been a crime victim.

Changes between 2019 and 2021

The total proportion of people saying they had been victim of a crime was 3.7 percentage points lower in 2021 than in 2019. Compared with this decrease for the population as a whole:

  • The percentage of people aged 75 years and older who were crime victims fell by less; 2.5 percentage points. It should be noted, however, that the number of victims in this group was already relatively low.
  • The decrease in the number of victims was relatively smaller among people with low levels of education: 1.2 percentage points. For people with medium and those with high levels of education, the development was relatively favourable, with decreases of 4.7 and 5.7 percentage points respectively.


Lamet, W. and K. Wittebrood, 2009, Nooit meer dezelfde. Gevolgen van misdrijven voor slachtoffers. The Hague: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.

CBS, 2022, Veiligheidsmonitor 2021. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek, The Hague/Heerlen/Bonaire.