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Highlights of the 2002 National Youth Gang Survey

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2004
2 pages
Publication Series
This report summarizes the findings from the 2002 National Youth Gang Survey, which solicited information from police agencies on the number and activities of youth gangs in their jurisdictions.
Of the 2,563 survey recipients, 85 percent responded. All cities with a population of 250,000 or more reported youth gang problems in 2002, as did 87 percent of cities with a population between 100,000 and 249,999. Thirty-eight percent of responding suburban county agencies, 27 percent of responding smaller city agencies, and 12 percent of responding rural county agencies also reported youth gang problems in 2002. The steady decline of reported gang problems over the initial survey years is most notable for smaller cities and rural counties. The survey estimates that approximately 731,500 gang members and 21,500 gangs were active in the country in 2002. The estimated number of gang members decreased 14 percent between 1996 and 2002, and the estimated number of jurisdictions with gang problems decreased 32 percent. A total of 142 cities with a population of 100,000 or more reported both a gang problem and gang homicide data (the number of homicides that involved a gang member) in 2002. Approximately half of the homicides in Chicago and Los Angeles in 2002 were gang-related. 1 figure

Date Published: April 1, 2004