Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1997. SD 1.6 Youth violent crime arrest rates

04/01/1997

Violent crimes, as defined by the FBI, include murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The rate of youth arrests for violent crimes quadrupled between 1965 and 1994, from 58 to 231 per 100,000 persons under age 18. The increase has been fairly constant over time, except for a short-lived reduction in youth violent crime arrest rates between 1980 and 1985 (see Figure SD 1.6).

Differences by Race. Rates have increased for both white and nonwhite youth during this period, though nonwhite rates have been consistently and substantially higher. In 1994 rates of arrest for violent crimes for whites were 138 per 100,000 compared to 584 per 100,000 for nonwhites.

Differences by Age and Gender. Arrest rates for violent crimes have consistently been much higher among males than among females over time and across all ages (see Table SD 1.6). However, rates for both males and females increased substantially between 1965 and 1994, exhibiting a brief decline only during the early 1980s. For example, among females age 18, rates increased from 37 to 249 per 100,000 between 1965 and 1994. For 18 year old males, the rates increased from 638 to 2,042 per 100,000 during that same time period, or to about two arrests per one hundred 18 year old males.

Violent crime arrest rates climb quickly and steadily with age for young men, from 153 per 100,000 for 10-12 year olds to 2,042 per 100,000 among 18 year olds in 1994. By contrast, the rates for young women do not increase uniformly or rapidly with age, peaking at age 16 at 275 arrests per 100,000, then declining to below 250 per 100,000 for ages 17 and 18.
 

Figure SD 1.6  
Arrest Rates for Violent Crimes by Youth Ages 18: 1965-1994 (Rate per 100,000) 

SD1_6.GIF

Note: Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Rates refer to the number of arrest made per 100,000 inhabitants belonging to the prescribed age group. Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Federal Bureau of Investigation. 1993. Age-Specific Arrest Rates and Race-Specific Arrest Rates for Selected Offenses, 1965-1992. U.S. Department of Justice. Special analysis of 1993 and 1994 data by Program Support Section, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 
 

Table SD 1.6  
Arrest Rates for Violent Crimes by Youth Ages 18, 1965-1994 (per 100,000)

                         
     
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                         
Total
58
101
136
163
139
184
195
188
220
231
                         
Race/Ethnicity
  White
24
42
79
92
77
108
121
126
130
138
  Non-white
259
436
431
492
400
488
486
534
568
584
                         
Age
  12-Oct
--
--
--
47
56
71
77
81
86
92
  13-14
139
207
250
262
252
369
397
420
461
493
  15
245
364
483
505
446
670
720
725
829
858
  16
304
459
616
638
568
879
925
940
1031
1058
  17
305
519
663
739
662
986
1041
1001
1115
1119
  18
338
571
713
746
661
1023
1108
1092
1149
1167
                         
Gender
  Male
    12-Oct
--
--
--
82
99
119
130
137
144
153
    13-14
242
351
420
446
424
602
652
681
740
788
    15
442
644
832
877
769
1137
1222
1210
1379
2414
    16
564
838
1102
1130
999
1525
1604
1621
1764
1798
    17
572
957
1201
1322
1180
1745
1841
1757
1944
1939
    18
638
1065
1299
1350
1194
1840
1996
1944
2038
2042
  Female
    12-Oct
--
--
--
10
12
19
20
23
25
27
    13-14
32
57
72
70
71
123
130
145
167
183
    15
40
73
119
117
108
177
192
214
249
272
    16
36
67
114
125
118
193
204
217
253
275
    17
30
66
105
130
118
179
188
195
233
247
    18
37
72
113
125
114
164
176
197
214
249
                         
Note: Violent Crime is the sum of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Rates refer to the number of arrests made per 100,000 inhabitants belonging to the prescribed age group.  

Source: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, Federal Bureau of Investigation: 1993.  
Age-Specific Arrest Rates and Race-Specific Arrest Rates for Selected Offenses,  
1965-1992. pp. 12-17 & p. 181. U.S. Department of Justice. Special Analysis of 1993 and 1994 data by Program Support Section, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, FBI.

 

6 Arrests for violent crimes were chosen in preference to other arrest measures as an indicator both because of the particular hazards that violent crime represent to our society, and because arrests for violent crimes are less likely to be affected over time by changes in police practice and policy than other types of crime.
 
 

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