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Age-specific Arrest Rate Trends
Q: What is the trend for age-specific arrest rates for robbery?
A: Since 1980, robbery arrest rates have decreased for nearly all age groups - the decrease was greater for juveniles than adults.
Note: 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.
  • The peak year for juvenile robbery arrest rates was 1994. Between 1980 and 1994, arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 increased an average of 33%. The rates also increased for 18- (24%) and 19- (11%) year-olds as well as adults age 25-39. More specifically, the rates increased 16% for adults ages 25-29, 43% for adults ages 30-34 and 65% for those ages 35-39.
  • Between 1994 and 2020, robbery arrest rates declined for all age groups, but the declines were somewhat greater for juveniles than for adults. More specifically, the rates dropped an average of 79% for youth ages 15-17, compared with 69% for adults ages 18-24, 60% for those ages 25-29, and 48% for those ages 30-39.
  • Overall from 1980 to 2020, robbery arrest rates for youth ages 15-17 decreased 73%. In comparison, the robbery arrest rates for adults showed smaller declines or increased. For example, the rates decreased 68% for adults ages 18-24, 53% for adults ages 25-29, and 20% for those ages 30-39. The rate increased 10% among those ages 40-49, and 66% for those ages 50-59.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/crime/qa05304.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).