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Gangs - Facts and Figures

  • Since 1996, the National Gang Center, through the National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS), has collected data annually from a large, representative sample of local law enforcement agencies to track the size and scope of gang activity nationwide. As presented in Highlights of the 2011 National Youth Gang Survey (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, September 2013):
    • In 2011, there were an estimated 29,900 gangs and 782,500 gang members throughout 3,300 jurisdictions with gang problems.
    • Nearly one-third of all responding law enforcement agencies reported gang activity.
    • Gang-related homicides declined (from 2010 to 2011) overall nationally but fell only slightly in metropolitan areas.
  • In the first published compilation of annual data, the National Incidence-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) 2011 (August 2013) represents crime data from calendar year 2011 reported by 5,880 law enforcement agencies around the nation. The data includes information on incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders for 46 specific crimes in 22 major offense categories. Agencies may also provide information about gang involvement for 11 offense types. However, the reporting of this information is not required and was not submitted for all agencies. Findings include the following:

    • Less than 1% of reported offenses were associated with gangs.
    • 1,500 offenses were reported to have involved juvenile gangs while 2,797 involved other gangs.
    • The circumstance associated with 31 murder/nonnegligent manslaughter and 1,162 aggravated assault victims during 2011 was reported as "gangland killing."
    • The circumstance associated with 1 murder/nonnegligent manslaughter and 583 aggravated assault victims during 2011 was reported as "juvenile gang" activity.