Statistical Briefing Book > Juveniles as Victims Previous Page
Violent Crime Victimization
Q: How many youth are victims of murder in the United States?
A: Between 1980 and 2020, an estimated 72,525 youth under age 18 were murdered in the United States 1,777 in 2020.
  • Homicides of youth peaked in 1993 at about 2,840. The number of youth homicide victims in 2020 was 37% below the 1993 peak. Youth under age 18 represented about 8% of all murder victims in 2020.
  • In 2020, 26% of youth homicide victims were female, 55% were Black, and 66% were killed with a firearm. Of the youth murder victims with known offenders in 2020, 43% were killed by family members, 44% by acquaintances, and 13% by strangers.
  • Between 2011 and 2020, juvenile offenders participated in nearly 1 of every 5 (18%) homicides of youth in which the offenders were known to law enforcement. In nearly 3 of every 10 (29%) youth homicides in which known juvenile offenders participated, adult offenders were also involved.
  • 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/qa02304.asp?qaDate=2020. Released on December 09, 2021.

Adapted from Puzzanchera, C., Chamberlin, G. and Kang, W. (2021). 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 19802020 [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].