U.S. - number of serious violent crimes by youth 1980-2017

In 2016, there were about 215,000 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 2017*

Number of violent crimes in thousands
2017**215
2015188
2014174
2013234
2012 238
2011 152
2010 231
2009 276
2008 343
2007 277
2006443
2005 435
2004 345
2003 374
2002 278
2001 467
2000 412
1999 610
1998 616
1997 705
1996 805
1995 811
1994 1,031
1993 1,108
1992 925
1991 811
1990 785
1989 680
1988 703
1987 657
1986 618
1985 652
1984 739
1983 746
1982 747
1981 917
1980 812
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Sources

Release date

September 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

1980 to 2017

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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