U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Homicides of Children and Youth

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2001
12 pages
This bulletin drew on Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other data to provide a statistical portrait of juvenile homicide victimization offering overall patterns, victim age groups, and specific types of juvenile homicide victimization with an exploration of prevention initiatives.
Drawing heavily on data from the FBI’s supplementary homicide reports, this bulletin, part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Crime Against Children Series, gave a brief statistical overlook of various facets of child and youth homicide victimization in the United States. The facets of child and youth homicide victimization discussed included: (1) overall patterns of juvenile homicide victimization; (2) victim age groups (teenagers, young children, and children in middle childhood); (3) types of juvenile homicide victimizations (i.e., maltreatment homicides, multiple-victim family homicides, abduction homicides, and school homicides); and (4) prevention initiatives. Highlights of the findings presented included: (1) in 1999, about 1,800 juveniles were victims of homicide in the United States; (2) homicides of juveniles in the United States were unevenly distributed, both geographically and demographically; (3) homicides of young children (age 5 and younger), children in middle childhood (ages 6 to 11), and teenagers (ages 12 to 17) differed on a number of dimensions, suggesting they should be analyzed separately; (4) most homicides of young children were committed by family members through beatings and suffocation; (5) middle childhood was a time when a child’s homicide risk was relatively low; and (6) homicides of teenagers, most of which involved male victims killed by male offenders using firearms, rose dramatically in the late 1980's and early 1990's and declined sharply since 1993. With the juvenile homicide rate in the United States continuing to be substantially higher than in other modern democracies, preventing homicides of children and youth continues to be an active item on the policy agenda of national, State, and local authorities. Tables, graphs, and references

Date Published: October 1, 2001