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Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Age-specific Arrest Rate Trends
Q: What is the trend for age-specific arrest rates for violent crime offenses?
A: Violent crime arrest rates were higher in 2020 than in 1980 for adults age 30 and over; for juveniles, 2020 rates were well below the rates in 1980.

Violent crime arrests per 100,000 population, 1980, 1994, 2020

Age 1980 1994 2020
10 to 12 39.4 82.0 13.1
13 to 14 217.1 443.2 76.5
Age 15 421.8 773.9 146.8
Age 16 536.2 960.0 192.4
Age 17 625.1 1,026.1 233.9
Age 18 634.6 1,055.4 298.3
Age 19 591.2 905.9 304.7
Age 20 564.4 823.5 313.0
Age 21 559.1 801.6 326.5
Age 22 511.4 743.1 341.0
Age 23 484.0 697.9 333.9
Age 24 461.2 656.1 340.2
25 to 29 364.0 576.8 345.8
30 to 34 256.3 469.7 314.6
35 to 39 195.5 345.5 265.3
40 to 44 146.9 224.5 197.5
45 to 49 104.7 139.6 137.2
50 to 54 70.7 88.6 106.1
55 to 59 45.0 59.2 77.8
60 to 64 29.0 37.3 45.7

Note: Violent crimes include the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, robbery, and aggravated assault.

2020 was the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, which may have impacted policies, procedures, and data collection activities. Additionally, stay-at-home orders likely impacted the volume and type of law-violating behavior that came to the attention of law enforcement in 2020.

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

  • The peak year for juvenile violent crime arrest rates was 1994. Between 1980 and 1994, arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 increased an average of 76%. In comparison, the rates increased somewhat more for adults in their thirties (80%).
  • Between 1994 and 2020, violent crime arrest rates decreased for all age groups, but the declines were greater for juveniles than for adults. More specifically, the rates dropped an average of 79% for youth ages 15-17, compared with 59% for adults ages 18-24, 40% for those ages 25-29, and 28% for those ages 30-39.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05301.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on July 08, 2022.

Data source: Arrest estimates for 1980-2014 developed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and disseminated through "Arrest Data Analysis Tool." Online. Available from the BJS website.

Arrest estimates for 2020 developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice based on the FBI’s 2020 Arrest Master File of 12-month reporting departments available from the Crime Data Explorer (https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/pages/downloads, retrieved June 14, 2022).

 

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