Data helps chart teenage gun vi­o­lence in the US

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

The As­so­ci­ated Press and USA TO­DAY Net­work found that even among cities with high lev­els of gun vi­o­lence, these are the few where the teen haz­ard rate stands out.

To ex­am­ine the is­sue of youth gun vi­o­lence, the re­porters used data from the Gun Vi­o­lence Ar­chive to iso­late in­ci­dents in which a mi­nor age 12 to 17 was ei­ther killed or in­jured. The in­ci­dents were ag­gre­gated at a city level and then mea­sured against the pop­u­la­tion in that age group to de­rive a “haz­ard rate” — the per­cent­age of mi­nors ages 12 to 17 in the city in­jured or killed in gun vi­o­lence each year.

The pop­u­la­tion fig­ures for 12- to 17- year- olds were based on 2010 U.S. Cen­sus Bureau es­ti­mates for legally in­cor­po­rated “Place” en­ti­ties. The in­ci­dent data from the Gun Vi­o­lence Ar­chive was col­lected through that or­ga­ni­za­tion’s mon­i­tor­ing of me­dia and po­lice re­ports across the coun­try.

GVA is a non­par­ti­san, non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that cat­a­logues in­ci­dents of gun crime across the United States. The data used i n t he analysis spans 3½ years, from the start of 2014 through June 30, 2017.

The AP and USA TO­DAY Net­work analysis found that with the ex­cep­tion of Chicago, the cities with the high­est youth haz­ard rates were nearly all sim­i­lar in size — with pop­u­la­tions of 50,000 to 500,000, based on 2016 Cen­sus pop­u­la­tion es­ti­mates.

The analysis f ound there are a half-dozen cities with par­tic­u­larly high youth haz­ard rates: Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware; Chicago; Sa­van­nah, Ge­or­gia; Tren­ton, New Jersey; New Or­leans; and Syra­cuse, New York. Wilm­ing­ton, in par­tic­u­lar, had a youth haz­ard rate nearly double that of any other city. Sev­eral other smaller and mid- sized cities also showed high lev­els of teenage gun vi­o­lence, but the rates be­gan to level out af­ter the top six.

Smaller cities nat­u­rally show higher vari­a­tion than larger cities, but these six mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties had such out­size youth haz­ard rates com­pared to oth­ers that it was clear teenage gun vi­o­lence was a prob­lem. The AP and USA TO­DAY Net­work analysis also tested the youth haz­ard rate against the adult haz­ard rate to make sure the youth rate was un­usu­ally high, in­stead of just be­ing a re­sult of GVA’s data-col­lec­tion qual­ity in cer­tain cities.

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