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U.S. - number of serious violent crimes by youth 1980-2018

In 2018, there were about 192,000 serious violent crimes committed by youths between the ages of 12 and 17 in the United States. While the figures for 2017 do not include data for homicides, this is still a significant decrease from 1993 levels, when violent crimes committed by youths hit a peak at over 1.1 million serious crimes.

Youth and crime

According to the most recent data, most criminal youths in the United States were arrested on robbery and aggravated assault charges. The number of adolescent violent crime victims in the U.S. far surpasses the number of adolescent perpetrators. The number of adolescent victims has also declined significantly since the early 1990s, following the national downward trend of violent crime.

Overall downward trends

There is not only a downward trend in the number of violent crimes committed by youths, but also in the share of crimes involving youths. On a national level, the crime rate has also decreased in almost every state, showing that the country is becoming safer as a whole.

Number of serious violent crimes committed by youth aged between 12 and 17 years in the U.S. from 1980 to 2018

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Release date

September 2020


United States

Survey time period

1980 to 2018

Age group

12 to 17 years

Supplementary notes

* 2016 figures not included by the source as, due to a sample increase and redesign in 2016, victimization estimates, 2016 values are not comparable to other years.
** Homicide data were not available for 2017, with the number of homicides for 2016 being included in the overall total for 2017.

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