Number of jurisdictions with active youth gangs
Despite the comprehensiveness of the 1995 survey sample, it was not statistically representative; thus, the data could not be extrapolated for jurisdictions that either did not respond to the survey or were not included in the sample. Therefore, a statistically representative sample was created and used for subsequent surveys.
In 1998, it was estimated that 4,463 U.S. cities and counties experienced gang activity, down about 5 percent from 4,712 in 1997 and down about 7.5 percent from 4,824 in 1996. Table 8 shows that the estimated number of jurisdictions with gangs decreased in all area types from 1996 to 1997, and both the reported and estimated number decreased in all area types from 1997 to 1998. The decrease in the estimated number of jurisdictions reporting gangs from 1997 to 1998 was 2 percent for large cities, nearly 5 percent for small cities, nearly 12 percent for suburban counties, and more than 9 percent for rural counties.