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Juveniles as Victims
Violent Crime Victimization
Q: Does juvenile homicide victimization vary by age?
A: Murder is most common among the oldest and the youngest juveniles. In 2011, 42% of juvenile murder victims were under age 6 and 45% were ages 1517.

Juvenile homicide victims by age, 1980-2011

Year Ages 0-5 Ages 6-11 Ages 12-14 Ages 15-17

1980 614 176 161 862
1981 595 199 181 715
1982 670 189 154 675
1983 629 145 151 612
1984 593 165 159 546
1985 597 175 182 619
1986 725 148 170 677
1987 643 160 175 735
1988 704 198 192 843
1989 711 203 220 1,020
1990 716 162 247 1,170
1991 810 169 271 1,324
1992 731 160 310 1,362
1993 815 205 341 1,480
1994 802 156 290 1,414
1995 760 133 297 1,431
1996 813 144 211 1,237
1997 689 166 175 1,029
1998 704 165 192 866
1999 650 153 169 824
2000 624 126 156 675
2001 681 146 126 687
2002 620 151 127 674
2003 645 125 116 656
2004 609 114 138 704
2005 606 126 156 746
2006 625 131 177 851
2007 642 142 160 858
2008 677 117 136 799
2009 588 122 119 697
2010 610 85 102 648
2011 612 118 94 552

[ Graph version ]  [ Excel file ]

  • Murder is most common among the oldest and the youngest juveniles. Of the estimated 1,380 juveniles murdered in 2011, 42% were under age 6, 6% were ages 611, 7% were ages 1214, and 45% were ages 1517.
  • However, the characteristics of juvenile murder victims vary with age. In 2011, a substantially larger proportion of victims under age 6 were killed by family members than victims ages 1517 (57% vs. 3%). Another major difference between the murder of older and younger juveniles was the relative involvement of firearms. In 2011, firearms were used in 17% of murders of juveniles under age 12 but 81% of the murders of juveniles ages 1217.
  • The large increase in juvenile homicides between 1984 and 1993 and the subsequent decline were nearly all attributable to changes in homicides of older juveniles. Victims ages 1517 accounted for 68% of the increase of juveniles murdered between 1984 and 1993 and 66% of the decline between 1993 and 2010.
  • In 2010, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (within the Centers for Disease Control) listed homicide as the fourth leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 11 and third for youth ages 12 to 17.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02301.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on August 05, 2013.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. and Kang, W. (2013). Easy Access to the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports: 1980-2011. Available on-line at: http://ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/.

Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 19802011 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: FBI.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) [accessed June 2013 from www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars].

 

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