Youth ViolenceYouth violence is an important public health problem that results in deaths and injuries. In 2003, 5,570 young people ages 10 to 24 were murdered—an average of 15 each day. Of these victims, 82% were killed with firearms. In a nationwide survey of high school students 33% reported being in a physical fight one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey and 17% reported carrying a weapon (e.g., gun, knife, or club) on one or more of the 30 days preceding the survey.
Direct and indirect costs of youth violence (e.g., medical, lost productivity, quality of life) exceed $158 billion every year. In a nationwide survey of high school students, about 6% reported not going to school on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to and from school. In addition to causing injury and death, youth violence affects communities by increasing the cost of health care, reducing productivity, decreasing property values, and disrupting social services.