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Indicator 2: Incidence of Victimization at School and Away From School26
(Last Updated: March 2018)

In 2016, the total victimization rate for students ages 12–18 at school was 29 victimizations per 1,000 students, and the total victimization rate away from school was 24 victimizations per 1,000 students.

In 2016, data from the National Crime Victimization Survey showed that students ages 12–18 experienced 749,400 victimizations (theft27 and nonfatal violent victimization28) at school and 601,300 victimizations away from school (table 2.1).29 The total victimization rates were 29 victimizations at school per 1,000 students and 24 away from school per 1,000 students. The total victimization rates at school and away from school were not measurably different in 2016.

Between 1992 and 2016, total victimization rates for students ages 12–18 declined both at school and away from school (figure 2.1). Specific crime types—thefts, violent victimizations, and serious violent victimizations30—all declined between 1992 and 2016, both at and away from school.


Figure 2.1. Rate of nonfatal victimization against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by type of victimization and location: 1992 through 2016

Figure 2.1. Rate of nonfatal victimization against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by type of victimization and location: 1992 through 2016

1 Serious violent victimization is also included in all violent victimization.
NOTE: Every 10 years, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) sample is redesigned to reflect changes in the population. Due to the sample redesign and other methodological changes implemented in 2006, use caution when comparing 2006 estimates to other years. The sample redesign also impacted the comparability of 2016 estimates to estimates for earlier years. Caution should be used when making comparisons to earlier years. For more information, see Criminal Victimization, 2016 (available at https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbse&sid=6). "Serious violent victimization" includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault. "All violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes as well as simple assault. "Theft" includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed 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. "Total victimization" includes thefts and violent crimes. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, and on the way to or from school. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the NCVS, whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS. The population size for students ages 12–18 was 25,546,100 in 2016. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding. Estimates may vary from previously published reports.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 1992 through 2016.


For most of the years between 1992 and 2008 as well as in 2012, the rate of theft at school was higher than the rate of theft away from school among students ages 12–18. For every year between 2009 and 2016 (except in 2012), there were no measurable differences between the rates of theft at school and away from school. In 2016, the rate of theft at school was 12 thefts per 1,000 students, and the rate of theft away from school was 10 thefts per 1,000 students.

Between 1992 and 2000, the rate of violent victimization per 1,000 students at school was either lower than or not measurably different from the rate away from school. From 2001 to 2016, the rate of violent victimization per 1,000 students at school has generally been higher than or not measurably different from the rate away from school. In 2016, the rate of violent victimization at school (18 per 1,000 students) was not measurably different than the rate of violent victimization away from school (14 per 1,000 students).

The rate of serious violent victimization against students ages 12–18 was lower at school than away from school in most survey years between 1992 and 2008 and in 2016. The 2016 serious violent victimization rates were 3 per 1,000 students at school and 5 per 1,000 students away from school. Between 2009 and 2015, the rate at school was not measurably different from the rate away from school.

In 2016, the rate of total victimization at school was higher for males than for females (figure 2.2 and table 2.2). The total victimization rate for males was 38 per 1,000 male students, and the rate for females was 20 per 1,000 female students. This difference was primarily driven by a higher rate of violent victimization at school for males (25 per 1,000) than for females (10 per 1,000). The rate of theft at school for males did not differ measurably from the rate for females in 2016. In 2016, the rates of total victimization, theft, and violent victimization away from school for males did not differ measurably from the rates for females. The total victimization rate away from school was 26 victimizations per 1,000 students for males and 21 per 1,000 students for females.


Figure 2.2. Rate of nonfatal victimization against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location, type of victimization, and sex: 2016

Figure 2.2. Rate of nonfatal victimization against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location, type of victimization, and sex: 2016

NOTE: "Violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) as well as simple assault. "Theft" includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed 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. "Total victimization" includes thefts and violent crimes. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, and on the way to or from school. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS. The population size for students ages 12–18 was 25,546,100 in 2016. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding and missing data on student characteristics.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2016.


In 2016, the rate of total victimization at school was higher for students ages 12–14 (37 victimizations per 1,000) than for students ages 15–18 (22 victimizations per 1,000; figure 2.3 and table 2.2). This difference was primarily due to a higher rate of violent victimizations at school for students ages 12–14 (24 victimizations per 1,000) than for students ages 15–18 (12 victimizations per 1,000). The rate of theft at school did not differ measurably between students ages 12–14 and students ages 15–18 in 2016. Away from school, the rates of total victimization, theft, and violent victimization for students ages 12–14 did not differ measurably from the rates for students ages 15–18 in 2016.


Figure 2.3. Rate of nonfatal victimization against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location, type of victimization, and age: 2016

Figure 2.3. Rate of nonfatal victimization against students ages 12–18 per 1,000 students, by location, type of victimization, and age: 2016

NOTE: "Violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) as well as simple assault. "Theft" includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed 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. "Total victimization" includes thefts and violent crimes. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, and on the way to or from school. Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS. The population size for students ages 12–18 was 25,546,100 in 2016. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding and missing data on student characteristics.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), 2016.


Differences in the rate of total victimization of students ages 12–18 at school by race/ethnicity were observed in 2016 (table 2.2). The rate of total victimization at school was higher among Black students (42 per 1,000 students) than among Hispanic students (23 victimizations per 1,000 students). The rate of violent victimization at school was higher for Black students (29 per 1,000) than for White students (14 per 1,000). The rate of theft at school was higher for White students (13 per 1,000) than for Hispanic students (6 per 1,000). In 2016, there were no measurable differences in the total victimization rate away from school by race/ethnicity.

Rates of total victimization for students ages 12–18 differed by urbanicity in 2016, both at and away from school (table 2.2). At school, students residing in suburban areas had a lower rate of total victimization (24 victimizations per 1,000 students) than students residing in urban areas (37 victimizations per 1,000 students). Away from school, the rate of total victimization was lower for students residing in suburban areas (17 victimizations per 1,000 students) than for students residing in urban areas (30 victimizations per 1,000 students) and in rural areas (38 victimizations per 1,000 students).


This indicator has been updated to include 2016 data. For more information: Tables 2.1 and 2.2.


26 Although Indicators 2 and 3 present information on similar topics, Indicator 2 is based solely on data collected in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), whereas Indicator 3 is based on data collected in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) to the NCVS as well as demographic data collected in the NCVS. Indicator 2 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to the NCVS, while Indicator 3 uses data from all students ages 12–18 who responded to both the NCVS and the SCS. Inclusion criteria for the NCVS and SCS differ slightly. For example, students who are exclusively homeschooled are able to complete the NCVS but not the SCS.
27 "Theft" includes attempted and completed purse-snatching, completed 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.
28 "Violent victimization" includes serious violent crimes (rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) and simple assault.
29 "Students" refers to youth ages 12–18 whose educational attainment did not exceed grade 12 at the time of the survey. An uncertain percentage of these persons may not have attended school during the survey reference period. These data do not take into account the number of hours that students spend at school or away from school. "At school" includes inside the school building, on school property, and on the way to or from school.
30 "Serious violent victimization" includes the crimes of rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault.