Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics For The United States   

     Each week, child protective services (CPS) agencies throughout the United States receive more than 50,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. In 2002, 2.6 million reports concerning the welfare of approximately 4.5 million children were made. 2012 Fact Sheet The Long Term Consequences of Child Abuse.

     In approximately two-thirds (67 percent) of these cases, the information provided in the report was sufficient to prompt an assessment or investigation. As a result of these investigations, approximately 896,000 children were found to have been victims of abuse or neglect—an average of more than 2,450 children per day.

     More than half (60 percent) of victims experienced neglect, meaning a caretaker failed to provide for the child's basic needs. Fewer victims experienced physical abuse (nearly 20 percent) or sexual abuse (10 percent), though these cases are typically more likely to be publicized. The smallest number (7 percent) were found to be victims of emotional abuse, which includes criticizing, rejecting, or refusing to nurture a child.

Findings 2009 Child Maltreatment Prevention Environmental Scan of State Public Health Agencies PDF - 1188 KB U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Foundation, & Education Development Center (2010) Seeks to understand and identify the work that State public health agencies engage in to enhance family resiliency, foster healthy child development, and prevent child maltreatment.

An average of nearly four children die every day as a result of child abuse or neglect (1,400 in 2002). Considering that most child abuse deaths go unreported, we believe this number is three to four times higher!

                                                  Who is more likely to be abused or neglected? 

     No group is immune. Boys and girls are about equally likely to be abused or neglected. Children of all races and ethnicitiy experience child abuse. In 2002, one-half of all victims were White (54 percent), one-quarter were African American (26 percent), one-tenth (11 percent) were Hispanic. American Indian or Alaska Native children accounted for 2 percent of victims, and Asian-Pacific Islanders accounted for 1 percent of victims.

     Children of all ages experience abuse and neglect, but the youngest children are most vulnerable. Children younger than 1 year old accounted for 41 percent of all abuse-related deaths reported in 2002; three-quarters (76 percent) of those killed were younger than 4.

                                            Who reports child abuse and neglect?

     In 2002, more than one-half (57 percent) of all reports made to CPS agencies came from professionals who came in contact with the child. Teachers (16 percent of all reports), legal, law enforcement, and criminal justice personnel (16 percent), social services workers (13 percent), and medical personnel (8 percent) were the most frequent sources of reports in 2002.

              Many people in these professions are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect.

     However, many reports (44 percent) came from nonprofessional sources, such as parents, other relatives, friends, and neighbors. Anonymous reports accounted for 10 percent of all reports in 2002. It is important for everyone to know the signs that may indicate maltreatment and how to report it. We all share a responsibility to help keep children safe as we take steps to prevent abuse from occurring in the first place.


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services                           

Child Welfare Information Gateway                             

Child Welfare League of America                                     

Almanac of Policy Issues                                              

National Data Archive of Child Abuse and Neglect 

Direct and indirect costs of the impact of child abuse and neglect, victims and thier families and by the society.  

                    Total Estimated Cost of Child Abuse and Neglect in the United States (PDF - 168 KB)
                                                Prevent Child Abuse America (2007)                                                             

 No Excuse For Child Abuse in America!                                       Child Abuse Prevention 2018