"The 1999 National Youth Gang Survey is the fifth annual gang survey conducted since 1995 by the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC). The 1999 survey used the same sample as the surveys done from 1996 through 1998, which consisted of: u A total of 1,216 police departments serving cities with populations of 25,000 or more (large cities); A total of 661 suburban county police and sheriff's departments (suburban counties); A randomly selected sample (n=398) of police departments serving cities with populations between 2,500 and 24,999 (small cities); [and] A randomly selected sample (n=743) of rural county police and sheriff's departments (rural counties). Respondents to the 1999 survey were requested to report information only for youth gangs, defined as 'a group of youths or young adults in your jurisdiction that you or other responsible persons in your agency or community are willing to identify or classify as a 'gang.'' Motorcycle gangs, hate or ideology groups, prison gangs, and exclusively adult gangs were excluded from the survey. Of 3,018 recipients, 2,603 (86 percent) responded to the 1999 survey. Forty-four percent of respondents reported active youth gangs in their jurisdiction in 1999, down 4 percent from 1998. National estimates based on survey results indicate that a total of 3,911 jurisdictions in the United States experienced gang activity in 1999, a 19-percent decline from the high of 4,824 in 1996. Respondents in 66 percent of large cities, 47 percent of suburban counties, 27 percent of small cities, and 18 percent of rural counties reported active youth gangs in 1999. Compared with 1998, these numbers represent a decline of 4 percent for large cities, 3 percent for suburban counties, 5 percent for small cities, and 3 percent for rural counties."
OJJDP Fact Sheet, No. 20; FS-200020
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/