Child Abuse Statistics

The national estimate of children who received a child protective services investigation response or alternative response increased 9.5 percent from 2012 (3,172,000) to 2016 (3,472,000).

The number and rate of victims have fluctuated during the past 5 years. Comparing the national rounded number of victims from 2012 (656,000) to the national estimate of victims in 2016 (676,000) shows an increase of 3.0 percent.

  • Three-quarters (74.8%) of victims were neglected
  • 18.2% were physically abused
  • 8.5% were sexually abused

For 2016, a nationally estimated 1,750 children died of abuse and neglect at a rate of 2.36 per 100,000 children in the national population.

This information is sourced from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Child Maltreatment 2016PDF IconExternal Icon report. The report series is an important resource relied upon by thousands of researchers, practitioners, and advocates throughout the world.

Sadly, many cases of child abuse go unreported. Even if cases are reported, they can often be difficult to prove. Several studies suggest that many more children suffer from abuse or neglect than is evident in official statistics. Some children have broken bones, burns, or bruises. Others have scars that may be hardly noticeable. Many have no obvious outward injuries. Instead they suffer emotionally—often silently and in fear of reprisal.

If You Suspect Child Abuse

  • New York State 800 342-3720
  • Onondaga County 315 422-9701

For more information

  • Child Welfare Information Gateway 800 394-3366
  • Prevent Child Abuse America 312 663-3520
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