WASHINGTON – The overall rate of serious violent crime against youth ages 12 to 17 declined 77 percent from 1994 to 2010, falling from 61.9 victimizations per 1,000 youth to 14.0 victimizations per 1,000, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Serious violent crimes include rape and other sexual assaults, robbery and aggravated assault.
Among serious violent crimes against youth, the rate of rape and sexual assault declined 68 percent, robbery declined 77 percent and aggravated assault declined 80 percent. Overall, declines in serious violent crime among youth were greater from 1994 to 2002 (down 69 percent) than from 2002 to 2010 (down 27 percent).
Simple assault (assaults not involving an injury or weapon) against youth ages 12 to 17 declined 83 percent during the same period, dropping from 125.1 victimizations per 1,000 in 1994 to 21.6 victimizations per 1,000 in 2010.
The rates of serious violence experienced by male and female youth became similar over time. In 2010, male youth (14.3 victimizations per 1,000) and female youth (13.7 per 1,000) were equally likely to be victims of serious violent crime, compared to 1994 when male youth (79.4 per 1,000) were nearly twice as likely as female youth (43.6 per 1,000) to experience serious violent crime.
Among racial and ethnic groups, in 2010 the rate of serious violent crime against black youth (25.4 per 1,000) was more than twice the rate of white (11.7 per 1,000) and Hispanic (11.3 per 1,000) youth. From 2002 to 2010, the rates of serious violent crime declined among white youth (down 26 percent) and Hispanic youth (down 65 percent), but remained stable among black youth.
In 2000, the highest rates of serious violent crime (2.7 per 1,000 youth per hour) and simple assault (4.8 per 1,000 youth per hour) against youth occurred during the after-school hours from 3 pm to 6 pm. However, in 2010 the rate of serious violent crime per hour against youth occurring from 3 pm to 6 pm was similar to the rate from 6 am to 3 pm and 6 pm to 9 pm. The rate of simple assault occurring from 3 pm to 6 pm was similar to the rate from 6 am to 3 pm, but five times higher than the rate from 6 pm to 9 pm.
From 1994 to 2010, more than half of violent crime against youth went unreported to police. However, the percentage of serious violent crimes not reported to police dropped from 62 percent in 1994–02 to 56 percent in 2002–10. Also, the percentage of simple assaults not reported to police decreased from 79 percent to 72 percent during the two periods.
Other findings showed—
- In 2010, the rate of serious violent crime against youth at schools (6.6 victimizations per 1,000) was similar to the rate at nonschool locations (7.4 per 1,000).
- From 1994 to 2010, youth living with an unmarried head of household were generally more likely than youth living with a married head of household to be victims of violent crime. In 2010, youth living with an unmarried head of household experienced violent crime at nearly four times the rate (3.8 times) of youth living with a married head of household.
- The rate of serious violent crime against youth involving a weapon, such as a gun, knife or other type of weapon, declined 80 percent from 1994 to 2010, while the rate of serious violent crime in which the offender did not have a weapon decreased 73 percent.
- From 1994 to 2010, violent crime against youth involving serious injuries, such as broken bones, concussions, gun shot or stab wounds, decreased 63 percent. Violent crime against youth resulting in minor injuries, such as bruises and scrapes, declined 81 percent over the same period.
The report, Violent Crime Against Youth, 1994-2010 (NCJ 240106), was written by Nicole White and Janet L. Lauritsen, University of Missouri – St. Louis. The report, related documents and additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.
# # #