Highlights of the 2008 National Youth Gang Survey


This fact sheet compares results of the 2008 National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS) with previous data on gangs and highlights significant findings.

According to the fact sheet, the number of gangs had increased by 28 percent since 2002 – to 27,900 – and the number of gang members had increased 6 percent – to 774,000 – during the same period. The National Gang Center estimates that 32.4 percent of all jurisdictions experienced gang problems in 2008, a 15 percent growth from 2002.

Results show that the increases in the numbers of gangs and gang members came from larger cities, while smaller cities and rural areas reported decreases from 2007 to 2008. Most of the growth occurred in cities with populations of more than 250,000.

Over 40 percent of respondents reported increases in gang-related aggravated assaults, drug sales and use of firearms from 2007 to 2008, but 45 percent of agencies said their gang problems were “getting worse” – 5 percentage points less than the year before.

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