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Racial and Ethnic Fairness
Juvenile arrest rates have declined for all race groups since the mid-1990s.

Juvenile arrest rates by race, 1980-2018

Juvenile arrest rate (per 100,000) Ratio of Rates*
Year White Minority Black American
Indian
Asian Minority Black American
Indian
Asian
19806,051.49,084.29,912.96,798.62,820.11.51.61.10.5
19815,818.59,985.511,152.45,524.22,718.01.71.90.90.5
19825,995.210,398.911,731.85,825.92,707.11.72.01.00.5
19835,563.09,348.210,653.55,068.22,362.01.71.90.90.4
19845,657.59,090.810,453.35,059.92,259.51.61.80.90.4
19856,022.99,411.010,835.25,818.82,571.01.61.81.00.4
19866,255.59,762.911,388.05,632.12,485.51.61.80.90.4
19876,268.510,098.111,784.86,129.52,798.51.61.91.00.4
19886,615.411,054.812,966.06,395.13,223.81.72.01.00.5
19896,599.111,430.913,765.16,623.02,104.41.72.11.00.3
19906,567.210,882.412,949.56,577.02,977.51.72.01.00.5
19916,724.111,346.713,578.96,507.03,102.51.72.01.00.5
19926,438.811,488.413,826.66,407.63,056.11.82.11.00.5
19936,563.911,916.714,376.17,048.63,164.81.82.21.10.5
19947,183.312,651.715,279.67,638.83,455.01.82.11.10.5
19957,247.412,660.615,354.78,119.43,284.21.72.11.10.5
19967,649.312,295.414,838.58,424.13,514.81.61.91.10.5
19977,426.711,797.814,270.78,318.43,302.01.61.91.10.4
19986,784.510,344.612,673.76,562.62,637.41.51.91.00.4
19996,213.29,258.111,293.16,344.32,395.81.51.81.00.4
20005,993.68,754.210,738.65,687.02,196.91.51.80.90.4
20015,665.18,538.710,573.35,028.21,974.81.51.90.90.3
20025,732.08,342.310,255.75,266.02,129.81.51.80.90.4
20035,521.38,305.710,287.44,935.61,994.31.51.90.90.4
20045,420.88,224.110,278.04,630.21,809.41.51.90.90.3
20055,197.88,500.010,745.54,683.91,596.51.62.10.90.3
20065,371.88,603.110,954.24,397.11,660.11.62.00.80.3
20075,270.38,524.410,920.54,307.31,650.61.62.10.80.3
20085,123.68,307.610,755.23,826.81,612.91.62.10.70.3
20094,644.27,742.810,100.83,665.81,459.91.72.20.80.3
20104,242.96,954.99,137.13,348.31,293.41.62.20.80.3
20113,787.36,335.78,375.63,297.91,113.71.72.20.90.3
20123,362.75,903.17,817.13,053.21,154.51.82.30.90.3
20132,706.45,028.56,798.12,682.6692.41.92.51.00.3
20142,548.94,782.66,537.52,371.4622.21.92.60.90.2
20152,302.64,252.05,752.72,605.8661.01.82.51.10.3
20162,112.73,999.25,447.92,405.8610.31.92.61.10.3
20171,981.63,792.35,149.62,727.5548.01.92.61.40.3
20181,792.73,365.34,618.32,251.2457.61.92.61.30.3

Note: Rates are arrests of persons ages 0-17 per 100,000 persons ages 10-17 in the resident population.

* The ratio of rates is created by dividing the minority rates by the white rate.

The ratio of rates compares the rates of each minority group to white youth. A ratio of 1.0 indicates statistical parity, i.e., the rates for the comparison groups are equal. For example, if white youth and minority youth were arrested at the same rate, the ratio would be 1.0, indicating the rates for these groups are equal. When the ratio exceeds 1.0, the rate for the minority group exceeds the rate for white youth; when it is below 1.0, the rate for minority youth is less than the rate for white youth.

  • Since 1995, the overall juvenile arrest rate declined most for Asian youth (86%), followed by white youth (75%), American Indian youth (72%), and black youth (70%).
  • Despite these declines, the disparity in arrest rates between white youth and black youth has increased in recent years. In 1995, for example, black youth were 2.1 times more likely to be arrested than there white peers. By 2018, this ratio increased to 2.6.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/special_topics/qa11502.asp?qaDate=2018. Released on October 31, 2019.

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 2015 through 2018 developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice based on data published in the FBI's annual Crime in the United States reports. These are preliminary estimates that will be updated upon release of final estimates on the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Arrest Data Analysis Tool.