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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 2014, 45% of juvenile murder victims were under age 6 and 37% were ages 1517.
Juvenile homicide victims by age, 1980-2014

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  • Murder is most common among the oldest and the youngest juveniles. Of the estimated 1,290 juveniles murdered in 2014, 45% were under age 6, 10% were ages 611, 7% were ages 1214, and 37% were ages 1517.
  • However, the characteristics of juvenile murder victims vary with age. In 2014, a substantially larger proportion of victims under age 6 were killed by family members than victims ages 1517 (59% vs. 5%). Another major difference between the murder of older and younger juveniles was the relative involvement of firearms. In 2014, firearms were used in 20% 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 64% of the decline between 1993 and 2014.
  • In 2014, 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=2014. Released on May 25, 2016.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C., Chamberlin, G. and Kang, W. (2016). Easy Access to the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports: 1980-2014. Available on-line at: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/.

Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 19802014 [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 May 2016 from www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars].


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