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Rates of School Crime
(Last Updated: April 2014)

Through nearly two decades of steady decline, the nonfatal victimization rate for 12- to 18-year-old students at school fell from 181 per 1,000 students in 1992 to 35 per 1,000 in 2010; however, the rate was higher in 2012 (52 per 1,000). The victimization rate away from school for these students followed a similar pattern.

Between 1992 and 2012, the total nonfatal victimization rate for students ages 12–18 declined both at school1 and away from school; victimization rates for all specific types of crimes declined during this period as well. Included in nonfatal victimizations are theft and all violent crime; included in violent crime are serious violent crime (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) and simple assault.


Figure 1. Rate of total nonfatal victimizations against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

Figure 1. Rate of total nonfatal victimizations against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

NOTE: Due to methodological changes, use caution when comparing 2006 estimates to other years. "Total victimization" includes theft and violent crimes. "At chool" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 1992–2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 228.20.


In 2012, students ages 12–18 reported more total nonfatal victimizations at school than away from school. Students ages 12–18 experienced 1,365,000 nonfatal victimizations (theft and violent crime) at school, compared with 991,000 nonfatal victimizations away from school. These data represent total victimization rates of 52 crimes per 1,000 students at school and 38 per 1,000 students away from school. From 1992 to 2012, the rate of nonfatal crime against students at school declined from 181 to 52 crimes per 1,000 students, or from nearly 1 in 5 students in 1992 to about 1 in 20 students in 2012. Away from school, the rate of nonfatal crime against students also declined, from 173 to 38 crimes per 1,000 students. Between the two most recent survey years, 2011 and 2012, the total nonfatal victimization rate for students ages 12–18 did not change measurably at or away from school; however, the total victimization rate at school was higher in 2012 than in 2010 (52 vs. 35 per 1,000 students) and away from school (38 vs. 27 per 1,000 students).


Figure 2. Rate of thefts against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

Figure 2. Rate of thefts against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

NOTE: Due to methodological changes, use caution when comparing 2006 estimates to other years. "Theft" includes purse-snatching, pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. Theft does not include robbery, which involves the threat or use of force and is classified as a violent crime. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 1992–2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 228.20.


Theft declined both at and away from school between 1992 and 2012. During this period, theft rates declined from 114 to 24 thefts per 1,000 students at school and from 79 to 18 thefts per 1,000 students away from school. The difference between theft rates at school and away from school narrowed from 35 more thefts per 1,000 students at school than away from school in 1992 to 6 more thefts per 1,000 students at school than away from school in 2012. In the most recent period between 2011 and 2012, the rate of theft both at and away from school showed no measurable change. However, the theft rate was higher in 2012 than in 2010 at school (24 vs. 18 thefts per 1,000 students). Away from school, there was no measurable difference between the theft rate in 2012 and the rate in 2010.


Figure 3. Rate of all violent victimizations against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

Figure 3. Rate of all violent victimizations against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

NOTE: Due to methodological changes, use caution when comparing 2006 estimates to other years. "All violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes and simple assault. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 1992–2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 228.20.


Between 1992 and 2012, violent victimization rates decreased both at and away from school. During this period, violent crime declined from 68 to 29 violent victimizations per 1,000 students at school and from 94 to 20 violent victimizations per 1,000 students away from school. In 1992, more violent victimizations occurred away from school (94 per 1,000 students) than at school (68 per 1,000 students); by contrast, in 2012 more violent victimizations occurred at school (29 per 1,000 students) than away from school (20 per 1,000 students). Between 2011 and 2012, the rate of violent victimization against students did not change measurably at or away from school; however, the violent victimization rate was higher in 2012 than in 2010 both at school (29 vs. 17 per 1,000 students) and away from school (20 vs. 12 per 1,000 students).


Figure 4. Rate of serious violent victimizations against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

Figure 4. Rate of serious violent victimizations against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location: 1992–2012

NOTE: Due to methodological changes, use caution when comparing 2006 estimates to other years. "Serious violent victimization" includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 1992–2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 228.20


Serious violent victimization rates decreased between 1992 and 2012 both at and away from school. During this period, serious violent crime rates at school showed an increase, from 8 per 1,000 students at school in 1992 to a peak of 22 per 1,000 students in 1993, then decreased to 3 serious violent crimes at school per 1,000 students in 2012. Serious violent crime rates away from school decreased from 43 to 7 crimes per 1,000 students between 1992 and 2012. The difference between serious violent crime rates at school and away from school also narrowed over the past two decades from 35 more serious violent crimes per 1,000 students away from school than at school in 1992 to no measurable difference in the rates of serious violent crimes at school and away from school in 2012. The rates of serious violent victimization at and away from school in 2012 were not measurably different from the rates at and away from school in 2010 or 2011.


Figure 5. Rate of nonfatal victimizations against students ages 12–18 at and away from school per 1,000 students, by type of victimization and age: 2012

Figure 5. Rate of nonfatal victimizations against students ages 12–18 at and away from school per 1,000 students, by type of victimization and age: 2012

! Interpret with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
1 Serious violent victimization is also included in violent victimization.
NOTE: "Total victimization" includes theft and violent crimes. "Theft" includes purse-snatching, pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. "All violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes and simple assault. "Serious violent victimization" includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 228.25.


Victimization rates for students in 2012 varied according to student characteristics. At school, rates of violent victimization and serious violent victimization were higher for younger students (ages 12–14) than for older students (ages 15–18). For example, the rate of violent victimization at school was 42 per 1,000 students for those ages 12–14, compared with 16 per 1,000 students for those ages 15–18. No measurable differences were found by age group in the rates of theft at school. Away from school, no measurable differences were found by age group in the rates of theft or violent victimization.


Figure 6. Rate of nonfatal victimizations against students ages 12–18 at and away from school per 1,000 students, by type of victimization and sex: 2012

Figure 6. Rate of nonfatal victimizations against students ages 12–18 at and away from school per 1,000 students, by type of victimization and sex: 2012

! Interpret with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
1 Serious violent victimization is also included in violent victimization.
NOTE: "Total victimization" includes theft and violent crimes. "Theft" includes purse-snatching, pickpocketing, and all attempted and completed thefts, with the exception of motor vehicle thefts. "All violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes and simple assault. "Serious violent victimization" includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2012. See Digest of Education Statistics 2013, table 228.25.


Both at school and away from school, the rate of total nonfatal victimization was higher for males than females in 2012. The total victimization rate at school was 60 per 1,000 students for males, compared with 45 per 1,000 students for females. The total victimization rate away from school was 45 per 1,000 male students vs. 31 per 1,000 female students. At school, the rate of serious violent victimization was higher for males (5 per 1,000 students) than for females (2 per 1,000 students); however, the rates away from school were not measurably different between sexes. In addition, no measurable differences were detected by sex for theft or violent victimization rates, either at school or away from school.


1 At school includes inside the school building, on school property, or on the way to or from school.

Glossary terms: none
Data Source: National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education