Youth crime in the U.S. has dropped by 78%

The U.S. Department of Justice recently released a report stating that the rate of violent crime committed by young people has dropped dramatically by 78% since 1994. This contradicts the common perception that youth crime is on the rise.

According to an analysis of FBI data, those aged 17 and under accounted for only 7% of all arrests for violent crimes such as murder and robbery in 2020.

Law enforcement agencies made about 424,300 youth arrests in 2020, 38% fewer than the previous year and half the number of arrests made five years earlier. The report also said 8% were for violent crimes.

"These data reflect an encouraging trend that has actually developed over the past three decades and offer a welcome counterargument to claims of rising youth crime," Liz Ryan, administrator of juvenile and delinquency prevention and also administrator of the U.S. Justice Department, wrote in the press release.

Arrests for violent crimes involving young people have decreased in every category of crime over the last decade, more than halving since 2010, when young people accounted for 14% of all arrests.