April 21, 2005

Non-Lethal Youth Violence Peaked After Roe, Too

The kids born after abortion legalization didn't just go on a murder spree. Here's a graph of more data from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. This is from the FBI's annual National Crime Victimization Study. It shows that "serious violent crime" (which includes " includes rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide" but not murder, because homicide victims aren't around to be interviewed by the FBI) where at least one of the attackers was perceived by the victim as being age 12 to 17 peaked in 1993 in terms of both absolute number of crimes (1,108,000, as represented by the blue bars above) and percentage of all serious violent crimes (27% of total serious violent crimes, as represented by the red line above). Abortion laws were liberalized in 15 states in 1970 and Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationally in 1973, a full 20 years before the worst year for 12-17 year olds. So, contra Levitt's Freakonomics, the cohort born after Roe v. Wade was the most violent in the last three decades, and perhaps ever.

And don't assume that youth violence is an insignificant share of all violence. Over half of the 28% increase in the total number of serious violent crimes between 1986 and 1993 was due to the increased violence of 12-17 year olds compared to just 42% of the increase for all adults age 18 and over (and 5% for assailants of unknown age).

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

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