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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 youngest and oldest juveniles. In 2019, 34% of juvenile murder victims were under age 6 and 45% were ages 1517.

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  • While murder is most common among the oldest juveniles (ages 15-17), more than 40% of all juvenile victims in 2019 were under age 12: 34% were under age 6 and 13% were ages 611.
  • The characteristics of juvenile murder victims vary with age. In 2019, a substantially larger proportion of victims under age 6 were killed by family members than victims ages 1517 (76% vs. 7%). Another major difference between the murder of older and younger juveniles was the relative involvement of firearms. In 2019, firearms were used in 25% of murders of juveniles under age 12 but 88% 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 58% of the decline between 1993 and 2019.
  • In 2019, 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: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/victims/qa02301.asp?qaDate=2019. Released on November 16, 2020.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C., Chamberlin, G. and Kang, W. (2020). Easy Access to the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports. Available on-line at: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezashr/.

Data Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation. Supplementary Homicide Reports for the years 19802019 [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 June 2020 from www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars].


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