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Home > Juvenile Justice Division > Facts and Figures > Facts and Figures - 2003


Facts and Figures - 2003

Juvenile Arrests 2002 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Bulletin examines statistics and trends in juvenile delinquency.

In 2002, the juvenile arrest rate for Violent Crime Index offenses reached its lowest level since at least 1980. From its peak in 1993, to 2002, the juvenile arrest rate for murder fell 72%.

In 2002, the juvenile arrest rate for Property Crime Index Offenses reached its lowest level since at least the 1960s.

Between 1993 and 2002, the decline in the number of violent crime arrests was greater for juveniles than adults.

Male juvenile arrest rates for aggravated assault and simple assault fell from the mid-1990s through 2002, while white female rates remained near their highest levels. Each year the FBI provides statistical data on National and State Crime rates called Universal Crime Reports (UCR). The following provides additional information on crime rates in the United States:

In 2003, 1,333 youth under the age of 18 were murdered with a weapon in the United States. Of these youth, 599 were killed with a firearm, and 315 were killed with a personal weapon (hands, fists, feet, etc.).

A large majority of persons arrested for aggravated arrests were male, at 79.3%; of these males, 13.4% were juveniles. Of these juvenile males, 35.5% were under the age of 15. Of the females arrested for aggravated arrest, 15.6% were juveniles, with 38.5% of those young women under age 15.

It is important to note that the number of juveniles arrested for aggravated assault has declined 9.1% since 1999 and 25.8% since 1994.

Arrests of adults for property crime increased 2.3% between 2002 and 2003, while arrests for juveniles declined 2.9% during this same period. Also during this period, the arrest rate for burglary increased 3.8% for adults, while it decreased 1.2% for juveniles.

In 2003, 16.1% of arrests for forcible rape were juveniles under the age of 18, and 6.0% were for juveniles under the age of 15. Forcible arrests rates of juveniles declined 24.7% between 1994 and 2003. Family Violence Statistics by the Bureau of Justice Statistics details national data relating to violence in the family. Key findings include:

Family violence accounted for 11% of all reported and unreported violence between 1998 and 2002. Of these offenses against family members, 49% were a crime against a spouse, 11% a parent attacking a child, and 41% an offense against another family member.

The rate of family violence fell between 1993 and 2002 from an estimated 534 victims to 2.1 victims per 1,000 U.S. residents age 12 or older.

About 22% of murders in 2002 were family murders. Nearly 9% were murders of a spouse, 6% were murders of sons or daughters by a parent, and 7% were murders by other family members.

The average age among sons or daughters killed by a parent was 7 years, and 4 out of 5 victims killed by a parent were under age 13.

Among incidents of parents killing their children, 19% involved one parent killing multiple victims. Child Maltreatment 2003 is the most recent in an annual series of reports published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, through the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDAS). Some of the significant findings from this report include:

In fiscal year 2003, state and local child protective service (CPS) agencies received an estimated 2.9 million referrals alleging child abuse or neglect for investigation or assessment. During 2003, CPS agencies determined 906,000 children to be victims of child abuse or neglect.

The rate of victimization for 2003 was 12.4 victims for every 1,000 children. This rate has remained fairly steady in recent years but demonstrates a significant decrease from 1993, when the rate of abuse peaked at 15.3 children abused and neglected per every 1,000.

Among the victims in 2003, 60.9% experienced neglect, 18.9% were physically abused, 9.9% suffered sexual abuse, 4.9% were emotionally or psychologically abused, and 2.3% suffered medical neglect.

In 2003, an estimated 1,500 children died due to child abuse and neglect. More than three-quarters of these children were under age 4; 10% were between 4 and 7 years; 5% were between 8 and 11 years, and 6% were between 12 and 17 years. Kids Count 2005 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports on the well-being of children in the United States. This annual report details the status of children in nationwide as well as each individual state. Some of the significant national data include:

In 2003, there were 72, 760,000 children in households in the United States. Of these children, 12.7 million were living in poverty. The poverty line in 2003 was $14,824 for a family of one adult and two children.

The poverty rate for children born to teenage mothers who have never married and who did not graduate from high school is 78%, whereas the poverty rate for children born to women over age 20 who are married and did graduate from high school is only 9%. Nationally, the teen birth rate fell from 48 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 in 2000 to 43 births per 1,000 teen females in this age range in 2002.

In 2002, 12% of children in the United States did not have health insurance.

Babies under 5.5 pounds at birth have a high probability of experiencing developmental problems. In 2002, 7.8% of babies were born with low birthweight and accounted for 67% of infant deaths that year.

In 2003, 30% of fourth grade students scored at or above proficient reading level, and 31% scored at or above proficient math level. The CWLA National Data Analysis System (NDAS) is the most comprehensive collection of child welfare related data in the country. Highlights of NDAS data relating to child welfare and juvenile justice include:

In 2000, of the 43 states for which information was collected, only 16 maintained statistical data to indicate whether a child was involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

In 2002, of 42 states for which data was collected, 8 used the same system for child welfare and juvenile justice, and an additional 7 maintained separate systems with cross-referencing capabilities.

In 2002, of the 44 states for which information was collected, in 17, child welfare agencies were responsible for youth involved in the juvenile justice system.

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