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Key Trends in Kids

(Taken from the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention)


“Children don’t grow up in isolation, their actions and values reflect not only their upbringing at home, but also the influences, good or bad, they encounter everyday in their own neighborhood.”


                                                                                    Department of Juvenile Justice


The following statistics were taken from the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.  These statistics represent national trends related to juveniles across the country.





Juvenile Population Characteristics

·        In 1998, 70.2 million Americans – more than 1 in 4 were under age 18.

·        In 1997, 14.1 million juveniles lived in poverty – 42% more than in 1978.

·        About 3 in 10 children lived in single-parent homes in 1997.

·        In 1997, almost one-half of all children living with only their mothers lived in poverty.

·        5% of all babies born in 1996 were born to juvenile mothers.

Juvenile Victims

·        Between 1980 and 1997, nearly 38,000 juveniles were murdered in the United States. 

·        In 1997, about six juveniles were murdered daily.

·        For every two youth (ages 0-19) murdered in 1996, one youth committed suicide.

·        In one-third of all sexual assaults reported to law enforcement, the victim was younger than age 12.

·        The violent victimization of juveniles is greatest between 3pm-9pm.

·        1 in 5 of all violent crimes with juvenile victims occurs between 3pm and 7pm on school days.

·        Child protective service agencies received reports on more than 3 million maltreated children in 1996.


Juvenile Offenders

·        Juvenile violence peaks in the afterschool hours on school days and in the evenings on nonschool days.

·        Half of high school students who said they carried a weapon said they took that weapon to school.

·        The increase in juvenile arrest rates since 1981 has been greater for females than for males.

·        About 1 in 11 juveniles arrested in 1997 was under age 13.

·        1 in 5 juveniles arrestees carried a gun all or most of the time.

·        More than half of high school seniors have used an illicit drug at least once-more have used alcohol.

·        Gang problems now affect more jurisdictions than before-including rural and suburban areas.

·        Allowing one youth to leave high school for a life of crime and drug abuse costs society $1.7-$2.3 million .