U.S. Department of Justice, Office Of Justice Programs, Innovation - Partnerships - Safer Neighborhoods
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Serving Children, Families, and Communities
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logo jump over products navigation bar
OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book logoAbout SSBFrequently Asked QuestionsPublicationsData Analysis ToolsNational Data SetsOther ResourcesAsk a Question

Juvenile Population Characteristics
Juveniles as Victims
Juveniles as Offenders
Overview
Related FAQs
Related Publications
Related Links
Data Analysis Tools
Juvenile Justice System Structure & Process
Law Enforcement & Juvenile Crime
Juveniles in Court
Juveniles on Probation
Juveniles in Corrections
Juvenile Reentry & Aftercare
Special Topics
Data Snapshot
Statistical Briefing Book Home

OJJDP logo

Printer-priendlyPrinter-friendly
Offending by Juveniles
Homicide
Q: How many murders are committed by youth in the United States?
A: Known juvenile offenders were involved in about 1,122 murders in the U.S. in 2020, representing about 8% of all known murder offenders.

Estimated number of homicide victims of juvenile offenders, 1980-2020

Year Lone juvenile
offender
Multiple juvenile
offenders
Juvenile & adult
offenders
1980 867 115 293
1981 807 111 319
1982 651 106 297
1983 665 88 231
1984 551 91 179
1985 644 83 247
1986 755 104 285
1987 775 104 279
1988 876 153 361
1989 993 160 398
1990 1,090 217 564
1991 1,203 196 648
1992 1,269 227 546
1993 1,359 281 632
1994 1,335 273 712
1995 1,113 207 619
1996 940 181 537
1997 811 164 435
1998 699 117 379
1999 610 93 332
2000 507 92 276
2001 467 71 326
2002 432 78 325
2003 447 78 276
2004 451 82 286
2005 470 88 344
2006 528 107 425
2007 543 94 410
2008 461 88 371
2009 435 76 350
2010 362 71 326
2011 340 53 289
2012 326 57 256
2013 286 60 267
2014 328 67 253
2015 360 67 268
2016 378 70 291
2017 399 70 312
2018 425 96 354
2019 390 82 306
2020 508 136 478

[ Graph version ]  [ CSV file ]

  • Between 1994 and 2003, the estimated number of murders involving a juvenile offender fell 65% to its lowest level since at least 1980. However, between 2003 and 2006, the estimated number of juvenile murder offenders increased 28%, then fell 42% through 2013. This period of decline was followed by an 83% increase through 2020.
  • In the last year, murders by juveniles acting alone increased 30%, murders involving multiple juvenile offenders increased 65%, and murders committed by juveniles and adults increased 56%.
  • In the 1980s, 25% of the murders involving a juvenile offender also involved an adult offender. This proportion grew to 41% in the 2010s, and reached 43% in 2020.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/offenders/qa03105.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on December 09, 2021.

Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 19802020 [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C.: FBI.

 

USA.gov | Privacy | Policies & Disclaimers | FOIA | Site Map | Ask a Question | OJJDP Home
A component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice